I love everything Malcolm Gladwell produces.
Check this out from Google’s Zeitgeist Minds.
Now to figure out how to actually use this in my day to day life.
I love everything Malcolm Gladwell produces.
Check this out from Google’s Zeitgeist Minds.
Now to figure out how to actually use this in my day to day life.
This is a guest post from a friend of mine named Aaron Tomkins. He sent me an article called “15 Biases That Make You Do Dumb Things With Your Money“. Which essentially says that you should be humble when you are investing and never be over confident, because we are all biased in some form or another.
I asked him to provide his insights on How to be a Good Steward of God’s Money. Here’s what he shares:
Since God doesn’t expect us to be able to predict where interests rates are going, what inflation is going to look like next year, or whether Apple’s next five years are going to be as profitable as their past five years, I think everyone was already born with the tools needed to be a good steward of God’s money. Here are some examples of practicals though:
1. Don’t buy a $40,000 car if you’re making $50,000 a year. Buy a car you can afford, preferably with cash. If you have a car that you can’t afford, sell it, even if it means you’d be taking a loss.
2. Don’t buy a home you can’t afford; the general consensus is that 25-33% of your take-home pay a month should go toward housing. If your mortgage payment is 50% of your take-home pay, you probably bought a home you can’t afford.
3. If you do invest in the stock market, have reasonable expectations and goals. If you don’t know what you’re doing, stay conservative and buy things like index funds. The stock market will return an average of 5% a year, if you stay in your investments and don’t trade all the time, you’ll accumulate a lot of wealth from those returns. If you’re constantly moving in and out of investments, then transaction costs will severely eat away at your returns. And if your stock broker or financial adviser promises you returns of 10-15% a year in the market, run away.
4. Don’t make emotional purchases. Obviously you can buy nice things (big TV, nice computer, etc.), go out to eat and enjoy life with your money. But don’t buy things that you can’t afford – i.e. that are going on a credit card and you won’t be able to pay off for a long time.
5. Give money to God and be generous with your money. The motivation for accumulating wealth should ultimately be that you can give more away. If you’re responsible with what money you have, God will probably give you more in time. If you’ve been proven as being irresponsible with a little though, then he probably won’t give you much more.
6. If you do have an interest in finance, there are a bunch of ways to educate yourself for free. If you have an ipod, download some good podcasts, like the Dave Ramsey Show. Motley Fool also has some good free podcasts if you’re educated in the stock market. Just be aware that even the professionals don’t know everything, so it’s good to expose yourself to differing opinions and then develop a perspective that makes the most sense to you.
7. Finally, the funny thing about opportunity is that it tends to appear (or maybe you only recognize it) after you’ve taken care of the basics. If you’re wrestling with staying above water and living from paycheck to paycheck, do you really think you can do anything with a golden investment opportunity when it comes? You’ll be too pre-occupied with the stresses of your life to even begin worrying about the longer-term. An interesting thing about Apple is that when Steve Jobs returned as CEO, he didn’t start by innovating and producing pioneering products. He started with the basics: getting Apple’s balance sheet fixed, getting their supply chain in order, making the Macintosh work, etc. Even when they finally released the iPod, they weren’t the first ones in the mp3 market by far. But if you have a strong financial foundation backing you, then more options, opportunity, and flexibility will appear.
Anyway, hope that helps!
I’ve been burned several times because I was being greedy also known as “trying to get rich fast.”
7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. – Matthew 7:7-12
I have this negative habit.
I habitually focus on the negative. Perhaps its disease from my job always putting out fires (IT Coordinator) and trying to catch mistakes (English teacher).
I used to say that I am a “realist.”
Unfortunately, thinking this way really doesn’t add value to my life or anyone around me.
My goal is to be preeminent person. Not someone arrogant and proud, but rather humble and provide excellence.
This negative thinking is a habit that needs to be changed.
My family went down to the in-laws to visit Grandparents on Saturday.
This also provided some peace for me and additional help for my wife (Grandma does wonders).
My first daughter, Jeslyn and Kaylee (second daughter) cried on the way there… a three hour drive with screaming children. My wife is strong.
My daughter had to go to the emergency room at 3am on Monday.
She had a very high temperature, dehydrated, diarrhea, and had not eaten for three days.
My mind goes to the worst place.
“Is my daughter going to die?”
Needless to say, it was hard to serve everyone asking for help.
Not the best way to start a brand new school year.
My wife told me we had to wait until 4 pm until the tests from the blood work came back.
From the time my wife gave me a call she was in the hospital at 8 am till 4 pm was a daze and my heart was wrestling with my thoughts.
I don’t want to lose my daughter.
I tried to be positive. I should be grateful for the 32 months I had with her.
Unfortunately, this situation was something out of my control.
One reason- I have my faith is because it provides a framework to help keep you strong and sane.
God its in your hands please tell me its nothing something terminal. Thank you for taking care of my daughter.
However it is your will and if you want her now… I understand.
Thankfully it was a severe case of enteritis, a virus that gets into your small intestine and causes a lot of pain and discomfort.
My wife and I both caught it from bad Chinese food several months ago.
It was the worst pain I’ve ever felt – I remember thinking its better to die then to go through this.
Jeslyn’s condition is unstable so she needs to continue to be admitted for another couple of days, but they say she will make a full recovery.
This whole event actually is a blessing. Due to work, I cannot be at my wife or daughters’ side.
My wife has to be with the first daughter.
My mother-in-law is with my second daughter.
God actually took care of me before I knew it. (My faith in action. Aw yeah!)
I’m grateful to God that even though I am the worst sinner that I know of. He still loves me and my family.
I’m going to keep trying to focus on the good and that’s why I sign my work emails with “With Optimism” and my personal emails with the fruit of the spirit.
I want to be the best for people and believe in the best of people.
I ask you that I can be someone who adds value to those around me.
That they are a little better, happier, and wiser after having interacting with me.
Thank you for loving and taking care of my family and friends (you).
In Jesus name,
Thanks for reading and supporting me in my goals.
God bless you.
The beginning of a school year is pure chaos. Beautiful, beautiful chaos.
I love it when 30 students arrive at the same time asking for help with their computers.
I love it when projectors don’t work properly for eight teachers simultaneously.
It’s nice to feel needed, but it is draining.
I wanted to write something before going to bed.
I’m going to read my Bible and get ready for bed.
I used to think sleep was a waste of time.
That people who sleep too much are lazy.
I was wrong.
This TED talk shows me a new perspective on sleep and what I will believe for now.
Seems accurate for now. Definitely worth 22 minutes of your life.
Now back to sleep.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10)
If I could consider myself an expert in anything the first thing that comes to mind is quitting.
I’ve quit taekwondo, the trombone, the drums, piano, exercise, dieting, and tons more.
I justified it by saying that I was “testing” it.
Frankly, I am sick with the current state of my life. I am no where near where I want to be.
I am extremely disappointed in myself in the areas of spirituality, emotional maturity, and personal development.
However, I hit a turning point today.
It begins with an innocent excuse. Work was overwhelming so I’ll work out tomorrow. Tomorrow goes by and I’m “too tired.”
Naturally I didn’t have the grit to fight through the simple challenge.
It was hectic and I got out of work late. I didn’t work out and I said I would do it Saturday. On Saturday my wife and I got in a small argument and I said I would work out Sunday.
Sunday came around. I fumbled around and did nothing productive. I am sick of getting to that state. Yet that is where I seem to get myself consistently whenever I burn out or whatever other cheap excuse I can come up with.
Its going to stop today. I want to become the man I set out to be – the one that my family, friends, community, and the world deserve.
I don’t want my life to be a small blip on the radar. A life lived in selfishness. A waste.
I want to live a life that influences others to become the best they can. As Jesus Christ said to live life to the full. (John 10:10).
After getting off of work late… again. I went to push and challenge my body in the weight room.
Honestly, I hate exercise. I hate sweating and getting dirty.
My brother, Rex, believed and pushed me. I’ve never done a chin up or pull up in my life. I’ve always been a heavy boy.
I was actually able to bring myself half way up. To me that is progress. If I was in an action sequence with my life on the line. I wouldn’t be able to save myself let alone anyone else.
After some reflection here are the steps I think will help you transform into someone you want to be.
1) Define what you want – I want to have a six pack for once in my life and keep it as long as I can. Rex says with 6 months of following program I will be able to reverse 30 years of poor eating and laziness.
2) Get support – My brother Rex was there to help me for the first month. I typically give up after a week or two. Find a champion who will support you and push you.
3) Make the decision – Do you have the grit? Even when it is something stupid. Are willing to decide. The decision to change your life. The decision to make a difference. The courage to defeat your inner demon.
4) Set yourself up for success – Create an environment that will support you in your goal. I have to pack all of my workout clothes, supplements, water, and music the night before. Put all that stuff right next to the door- so when I leave I just know to take it with me.
I was able to exercise today.
I also want to become a better writer. Write 500 words a day. I’m doing that right now. Hard to do consistently, but I want to. It helps be reflect and analyze. It may help someone too.
I will become an expert at grit, perseverance, and passion. Those are qualities I admire and I want to have.
Thanks for reading.
Voyeurism is fun, but interacting is even better. Comment and share your thoughts.
God bless you.
Creating a habit is challenging.
I want to spend time with God every day.
Practically, that means spending time reading the Bible, meditating on the words, and praying to God. This typically takes me anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. I wish I could do more, but at this season of my life (working 11 hour days, married, 1 toddler, and 1 infant) its not easy.
I wanted to spend time with God yesterday, but due to getting off of work late and not rescheduling my trip with my wife to Costco in Korea. Costco in Korea is always stressful. In order to decrease the stress, the best time to go is the magic time between dinner and people who come after dinner at 6pm.
Our trip was successful until we left. I made my wife angry five times in a row in a 10 minute span. That’s a record.
To me that is proof that there are little demons around and they interfere with our lives. The little demons’ goal is to destroy. Destroy my relationship with God, destroy my relationship with my wife, and destroy me.
Whenever I try to change a habit that is healthy for me. An obstacle comes up.
Typically I am weak willed in this area and I actively look for a “reasonable” excuse to stop.
I am successful in not following through. I am an expert quitter.
I will break that cycle and get up.
I missed my time with God yesterday, but today will be different.
Proactivity in action. I would feel guilty and rush through both Proverbs 13 and 14, but I don’t have the time to get deep enough with one book. I’ve decided to come back to Proverbs 13 another time and go straight into todays’ reading in Proverbs 14.
Here are my thoughts:
1 The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.
I want to be wise. Wise people create and build things.
2 Whoever fears the Lord walks uprightly,
but those who despise him are devious in their ways.
Fear God and walk upright.
3 A fool’s mouth lashes out with pride,
but the lips of the wise protect them.
The wise speak humbly. Need to work on this.
4 Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty,
but from the strength of an ox come abundant harvests.
Not sure what this scripture means. Need to look this up in a commentary.
5 An honest witness does not deceive,
but a false witness pours out lies.
Honest people tell the truth. Liars lie all the time. Something I learned the hard way.
6 The mocker seeks wisdom and finds none,
but knowledge comes easily to the discerning.
The discerning knows where knowledge is.
7 Stay away from a fool,
for you will not find knowledge on their lips.
Stay away from foolishness.
8 The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways,
but the folly of fools is deception.
The wise think, plan, and strategically live. Working on this one.
9 Fools mock at making amends for sin,
but goodwill is found among the upright.
Need to study this scripture. What does goodwill mean in this context?
10 Each heart knows its own bitterness,
and no one else can share its joy.
Need to study this scripture. Not sure what the actionable item here is.
11 The house of the wicked will be destroyed,
but the tent of the upright will flourish.
Flexible and upright people will flourish. People who are wicked and inflexible people will be destroyed.
12 There is a way that appears to be right,
but in the end it leads to death.
Need to study this scripture.
13 Even in laughter the heart may ache,
and rejoicing may end in grief.
Need to study this scripture.
14 The faithless will be fully repaid for their ways,
and the good rewarded for theirs.
The faithful will be rewarded.
15 The simple believe anything,
but the prudent give thought to their steps.
I’m learning to be prudent. Still have a ways to go.
16 The wise fear the Lord and shun evil,
but a fool is hotheaded and yet feels secure.
The wise fear God and stay away from evil.
17 A quick-tempered person does foolish things,
and the one who devises evil schemes is hated.
Easily angered people do foolish things. People who do evil are hated.
18 The simple inherit folly,
but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.
The prudent are crowned with knowledge. This belongs in an email signature.
19 Evildoers will bow down in the presence of the good,
and the wicked at the gates of the righteous.
Evildoers will get their consequences some day.
20 The poor are shunned even by their neighbors,
but the rich have many friends.
Rich people have many friends.
21 It is a sin to despise one’s neighbor,
but blessed is the one who is kind to the needy.
You will be blessed if you are kind to the needy.
22 Do not those who plot evil go astray?
But those who plan what is good find love and faithfulness.
Plan good and find love and faithfulness.
23 All hard work brings a profit,
but mere talk leads only to poverty.
Hard work brings profit. Need to study the Hebrew for “Hard” for this context. I think smart work brings profit.
24 The wealth of the wise is their crown,
but the folly of fools yields folly.
Wise people have wealth for crowns.
25 A truthful witness saves lives,
but a false witness is deceitful.
Truth saves lives.
26 Whoever fears the Lord has a secure fortress,
and for their children it will be a refuge.
Fear God and the blessings will also go to your children.
27 The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life,
turning a person from the snares of death.
Fearing God is the provides life.
28 A large population is a king’s glory,
but without subjects a prince is ruined.
Large population is a king’s glory. In modern terms, have a lot of fans and that’s your glory.
29 Whoever is patient has great understanding,
but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.
If you are understanding you have patience. This is something I need to work on a lot. Perhaps I will focus on this one for a while.
30 A heart at peace gives life to the body,
but envy rots the bones.
Peace gives life.
31 Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker,
but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.
Be kind to the needy and honor God.
32 When calamity comes, the wicked are brought down,
but even in death the righteous seek refuge in God.
Through calamity the righteous seek refuge in God.
33 Wisdom reposes in the heart of the discerning
and even among fools she lets herself be known.
Need to study this one.
34 Righteousness exalts a nation,
but sin condemns any people.
Righteousness exalts your tribe.
35 A king delights in a wise servant,
but a shameful servant arouses his fury.
Have wise friends and employees.
For rest of the month of August 2013. I will work on being more understanding the direct fruit being a more patience person. With my daughters, my wife, and my coworkers.
One thing I used to do when I wrote a lot was to be completely bare honest. I stopped doing that because I was afraid of what people think of me. In doing so, I’ve stunted my growth. People who read my stuff will either have to accept me as I am or find someone else to read. That’s the decision I’ve come to.
Thank you for reading.
Dear Heavenly Father,
I have a hard time trying to build a consistent and deep relationship with you.
Perhaps it is because I have very few if any deep relationships.
I don’t understand what relationships are and how they can add value to life.
Today is August 12, 2013. I want today to be a turning point in my walk with you.
Everyday in every way I want my relationship with you to deepen.
Whenever I lose my focus and don’t spend consistent time with you – I lose focus and walk down a path that I don’t want to go.
I beg for your help that I can turn my daily time with you into something meaningful for me personally first.
From there it positively influences those around me.
Thank you for your infinite patience and not smiting me for my sins.
I love you and want to love you – more deeply every day.
In Jesus Name I ask.
In an effort to put into action immediately. I’m going to my favorite book of the Bible. Proverbs. Proverbs conveniently has 31 chapters so you can repeat one chapter everyday of the month.
Today is the twelfth so I will read Proverbs 12.
1 Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
but whoever hates correction is stupid.
God knows exactly what I need. This scripture is always encouraging and convicting at the same time. I need to continue to add discipline in my life. I love knowledge and I hate being stupid. Therefore, I need to be disciplined and love correction – both very challenging, but worth it.
2 Good people obtain favor from the Lord,
but he condemns those who devise wicked schemes.
I want to be a good person who receives favor in the Lord and stay away from wickedly scheming.
3 No one can be established through wickedness,
but the righteous cannot be uprooted.
If I begin a project or business on lies, it will be easily destroyed.
4 A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown,
but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.
Sometimes I wonder is it possible to marry a wife of noble character or is it something your wife evolves into. If it is the latter that means that the husband has to be someone worthy of having a wife of noble character. I hope to be a man who is worthy of a wife of noble character.
5 The plans of the righteous are just,
but the advice of the wicked is deceitful.
Are my plans just and fair? I’m not sure. I’m going to have to get help on this one.
6 The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood,
but the speech of the upright rescues them.
May wise truthful words flow out of my lips for the rest of my life.
7 The wicked are overthrown and are no more,
but the house of the righteous stands firm.
May my house be righteous and stand firm.
8 A person is praised according to their prudence,
and one with a warped mind is despised.
May I be prudent with my life and family. May those praises be directed to God.
9 Better to be a nobody and yet have a servant
than pretend to be somebody and have no food.
I prefer being unknown and being wealthy. Than famous and poor. Perhaps its better to have at least one rather than the other?
10 The righteous care for the needs of their animals,
but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.
I don’t have any pets right now. However, I will be kind to the animals I have influence over. God created them after all.
11 Those who work their land will have abundant food,
but those who chase fantasies have no sense.
I need to work my land. I need to first figure out what my land is. Perhaps it is right in front of me. I want to have an excellent life that does great things for God and I hope those are not fantasies. This requires further study.
12 The wicked desire the stronghold of evildoers,
but the root of the righteous endures.
Nothing to comment on this time around… not really sure what it means or how it applies to me right now.
13 Evildoers are trapped by their sinful talk,
and so the innocent escape trouble.
Always be innocently quiet.
14 From the fruit of their lips people are filled with good things,
and the work of their hands brings them reward.
Words can be powerful. Words combined with work brings reward. Would these be promises?
15 The way of fools seems right to them,
but the wise listen to advice.
I don’t want to be a fool. I want to become wise. I need to find wise mentors.
16 Fools show their annoyance at once,
but the prudent overlook an insult.
I’m a fool in the fact that I have no patience. Perhaps its my training as a being a teacher. I look for and try to find the wrong in everything. This is something I need to repent and change in. So many things to grow in and so little discipline.
17 An honest witness tells the truth,
but a false witness tells lies.
Hang around with honest people. Trust your gut.
18 The words of the reckless pierce like swords,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Words are powerful be careful. Use words to heal. This is also another area I am weak in. Another area that requires growth.
19 Truthful lips endure forever,
but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.
Truth lasts forever. I don’t like lying – I hope to keep my lips as honest and truthful as possible.
20 Deceit is in the hearts of those who plot evil,
but those who promote peace have joy.
Must promote peace.
21 No harm overtakes the righteous,
but the wicked have their fill of trouble.
If I stay righteous God will give me an extra layer of protection.
22 The Lord detests lying lips,
but he delights in people who are trustworthy.
Truth and honesty is a consistent pattern through out the Bible. I forget that there are bad people out there sometimes.
23 The prudent keep their knowledge to themselves,
but a fool’s heart blurts out folly.
Prudent people keep knowledge to themselves. This require further study. Does this mean in life in general or work?
24 Diligent hands will rule,
but laziness ends in forced labor.
Diligence will make promote you. Another pattern that reoccurs.
25 Anxiety weighs down the heart,
but a kind word cheers it up.
Kind words can cheer people up. I hope to become someone who is truly kind and cheers people up. I’m the opposite right now – almost an expert and the other.
26 The righteous choose their friends carefully,
but the way of the wicked leads them astray.
Carefully choose your friends and who you hang out with. Something I have been working on yes!
27 The lazy do not roast any game,
but the diligent feed on the riches of the hunt.
28 In the way of righteousness there is life;
along that path is immortality.
Righteousness leads to life and immortality. Not really sure what that means practically.
Thank you for reading this far.
If you can share your thoughts. I would really appreciate it. If you happen to be someone who is diligent please share your tips!