Check Twitter. Did anyone RT my latest post? Did you anyone DM me?
Time to check email. Did that friend finally get back to me? Did anyone cool email me? I wonder what’s happening.
Now it’s on to the blog comments. Ah nothing good. Just a few comments. I should probably take the time to reply right now. Oh a new reader. I should see their blog.
I wonder what Jack is up to? Let’s check out Facebook. There has to be something interesting happening. That guy always posts funny videos. I should check it out. It could make my day.
And it goes on and on.
It’s time for a wake up call. We need to stop reacting.
I shared the truth about Twitter last year. Now I want us to wake up and stop reacting!
While Twitter and social media can be amazing for your business, chances are that you’re not using any platform for the right reasons. You’re just killing time and putting off the important. You’re inventing things to do so that you can avoid the important work and the work that scares you.
We can’t always be waiting for something to happen. We have to make things happen.
I get caught in this trap far too often. I go on Twitter hoping for something to happen. I’m waiting for huge news to break. I want to be the first one to find out what’s happening. I want to know everything. I want more information.
In reality, I’m just wasting time and avoiding the important work.
If we’re always reacting, we won’t ever accomplish anything. Nobody will ever care about our work and we won’t get anywhere in life. That sucks. There’s so much to do out there and here we are waiting for something to happen on Facebook.
What are better options instead of always reacting?
Create. Do something. Be conscious of our actions. Stop making excuses. Stop waiting for something to happen that we can react to or share on Facebook.
Some articles I can pump out in a matter of minutes. Others take me hours, days, and even weeks. Why? Because I lose focus. I go from creating to reacting. I hate it. I imagine that this will be a constant struggle for the rest of my life. A struggle that I’m ready to conquer (most of the time)!
It’s so tough to create. Reacting is easy and requires no effort.
That’s cool because I love all of those things. A few weeks ago I found out about Sons of Anarchy and I became instantly hooked. I’m very compulsive. I had to watch every single episode. I had to know what happened next. I couldn’t stop watching. I went through the whole series in a few weeks. I finally found out what all of the hype about the show was about.
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t watch our favorite shows or zone out in front of Twitter or laugh at friends on Facebook.
We just need to set conditions. The following conditions have helped me out:
That’s how I slack off now without feeling guilty. There will always be days where you get nothing done. The trick is to limit those. Perfection isn’t the goal. The goal is to be a little better every day. If we can create a little more today than we did yesterday, we will be ahead.
What do you think about all of this stuff? Do you react far too much?Google+ Comments: 0 Read More
Have you ever pushed yourself past your limits? It feels like running through hell…
This Saturday, I did something that was completely beyond my limits; both psychologically and physically. We drove our children to my sister-in-law’s house and we left for the night. No… I’m not talking about having my children babysat… what I did after that was way more demanding!
I was just starting and I thought “What in the Seven Hells…(yup, I’m currently watching Game of Thrones ”.
The adrenaline, the blood rushing through my veins, my heart drumming harder than an old school tune by Metallica. All this was real… a little bit too much for me at first. I pushed so hard that I visited a part of me that I didn’t even know was there.
At first, it felt like hell. How can I run 7km more after rushing so much for the first 2? I felt pain; I even crushed my knees on a rock and kept running, bleeding. On Saturday night; we ran a 9km trail. As you might already know, I started running on my treadmill at the beginning of the year. My objective is to run 10 miles (not km) per week. To date, I’m 13 miles in advance to my cumulative objective. Each Wednesday evening, my wife and I go for a 10km run. I find it relatively easy. This is why I never thought a 9km would be that hard. But the word “trail” added to the run makes it crazy hard.
It was a run through hell as my heart wanted to jump out of my chest, I fell on a huge rock and there was blood running down my leg, but at the end of the race, I. felt the most amazing feeling ever: I did it! I was proud, satisfied and completely energized. I had given so much during the race that it was like both my mind and body were completely clean. I felt very good about myself. I went through hell and finished in heaven!
I could try to describe it, but I think this video does it best:
I didn’t make it to any championship, just a “regular” trail run, but for my first run ever, it was quite a feat! When I registered to the run, I thought it was simply running through the woods. I didn’t expect running through mud holes bigger than my pool! Hahaha!
What I like about running is that you don’t need much to participate in this sport. For this run, all I needed was a good pair of shoes (that I’m ready to get rid of since I ran for an hour through mud, water and rocks!), my iPod and good headphones (I use Monster Headphones since they stick in my ears in all condition).
So there are really no excuses for not running; I saw teenagers and boomers doing this race. I watched skinny, well built and beer bellies running on that day. Funny enough, there were more women than men doing that race!
It was my first run ever and I made two major mistakes. The first one was to run like a wild dog at first and pass by as many runners as possible at first. It’s a very bad mistake since you concentrate on rushing your body in the very first minute of a run that will last about an hour. I didn’t control my heart rate and had to slow down after 2km because I was losing my breath. I was happy to never have walked throughout the whole race, but I know I burned a lot of energy for nothing at the beginning.
The second mistake I made was to rush through mud holes instead of waiting in line to cross these obstacles. Most runners slow down and almost walk on the side to avoid losing their shoes in mud pits. Since runners were slowing down, I thought it was a good opportunity to gain a few positions. Here again, I burned a lot of energy going directly into the obstacles instead of recovering by going on the sides of the path. I had plenty of time to run faster in the rest of the trail that I could have saved my energy instead of bursting every 3 minutes.
I’ve been working out for the past 5 years now and I can tell that I’m not super fit, but I’m in good shape. However, I have never been a runner. I only started this year as I truly wanted to lose weight. Registering for a run was another step in my learning curve.
I’m very proud of myself as I pushed my body beyond any limits I would normally fix for me. And this is an interesting revelation: we are the only ones to put limits on ourselves. After 2km, I really thought I would never be able to run the whole race. I was convinced I will have to stop and start walking for a while to recover. But because I was in a race and because I’m too proud to quit, I controlled my breathing throughout the rest of the run and ended-up sprinting for the last 2km.
I can now affirm that limits don’t exist. They are made up in our minds and they determine where our conscious tells us to go. But you can always do more. I’ve learned that even someone that is a go getter like me puts limits and slow down its own potential. I was surprised to see that I wasn’t going “all-in” at first and that I could go for more.
I guess it’s just a matter of taking the leap to make it happen. I now look forward to the next run!
Readers, when was the last time you pushed your limits? How does it feel?Google+ Comment: 1 Read More
Don’t you remember your motherand father telling you: “you don’t understand today why I’m doing this, but one day, you will be thankful”.
This is exactly why Governments should force the population to save; because we will be thankful one day! Instead, most Governments are currently acting like other parents who may have told you “You just have to do the same with your kids when you have them to get revenge” as spending without looking behind and you can always charge your kids for your own mistakes!
The housing bubble burst in the US between 2007 and 2008. At that point, Americans thought their houses were the biggest ATMs they had ever seen. All they had to do was to sign a few papers at their local bank and walk away with plenty of cash in their pockets. This cash was used to buy useful andbbasic necessities in order to have a decent life such as a second BMW, a 50’’ plasma TV, a heated pool, vacations at Disney and several pairs of shoes. Tell me really, who can live with only two pairs of shoes?
People didn’t care and we all know the end of the story: Americans saw their house values melt by more than 30% within 12 months. Even worse: companies started to cut jobs, increasing the unemployment rate and reducing the State revenues collected in taxes.
After this Tsunami, Americans woke up and started to work hard and spend less. They switched their focus on paying debts above everything else. They went from a household debt-to-income ratio of 125% to nearly 100% in a short period of time. You can clearly see on the following graph what happened:
While I switched my focus on paying down my debts over the past two years, it seems like most Canadians don’t see it this way. As you can see on the above graph, the household debt-to-income ratio in Canada never ceased to increase and we are now showing a 165% ratio. Since January 2000, housing prices surged by 123%. There are more condo towers being built in Toronto than on the entire American East Coast. Are we richer than Americans or Dumber?
Such stats make me think about two very bad scenarios:
#1 There is definitely a housing bubble in Canada (don’t expect to sell your house with profit next year ).
#2 Most Canadians are NOT saving for retirement (which means YOU will have to pay for their retirement).
This is maybe why we should force people to save money.
I’ve heard this train of thought many times recently. In capitalism, most individuals hate seeing Governments telling them what to do. With all the horror stories in our history, I can appreciate this reflex. On the other hand, the same individuals expect Governments to save them from their own crap when they fail.
As a society, we have two options:
#1 We force people to save for retirement. Then we make sure everybody will get a minimum income at retirement. If everybody has made their own pension while they live, they will continue to spend money at retirement instead of being at the expense of the society.
#2 We let people spend their money on TVs and such and we tell poor retirees to starve in the street and die quietly because we don’t want to miss our TV shows. Since the Governments can’t afford to pay a pension to each individual, there are no other ways to let those people die in the street at one point.
Since we live longer and we have few workers to pay taxes, we can’t just imagine that we can afford to pay for everybody. Math in general is pretty simple. If you produce 10 sandwiches per day in your bag and you need to feed 20 people, you either give a sandwich to the first 10 and let 10 people starve or you give half of a sandwich to everybody and we are all a bit hungry. What happens if your production drops to 8 and you have 25 people to feed? This is where we are heading right now. So don’t tell me I can’t tell you what to do with your money since you will be begging for money in a few years from now and we both know the Government can’t handle this demand.
The problem is that most adults are still living like teenagers and think their parents (the Government) will be there to pay for their mistakes.
Let’s call it a FRSP and force each worker to put at least 5% of their income into it. I don’t think the Government should manage this money because it’s not their primary job and this would make the difference between acting as a good father and acting as the godfather .
The FRSP should be quite similar to what we know as a RRSP (Registered Retirement Saving Plan). We should allow people the same flexibility in term of investments but the contributions would be obligatory and directly taken from their paycheck.
Over time, the FRSP could be increased to roughly 10-15% in order to make sure everybody has a good pension to live on. But to start with, I would copy the Australian approach (they started at 3% back in the 90’s and they are expecting to raise it to 12% in 2020).
Just for fun, I calculated my debt to income ratio… I can tell you I’m contributing to the 165% average! As my latest net worth statement, my debt level is at $312K. I’m making roughly $135K per year so it makes a ratio of 231%… yikes!
But… considering I’m 31 with three kids, I’m definitely at the moment of my life where my debt-to-income ratio is at the highest. It’s totally normal. In the next 10 years, I’ll be working on paying off my debts and reduce that ratio significantly. At the same time, I’m saving a lot of money for my retirement. Each year, I contribute $5,000 in my RRSP (which is 3.7% of my salary) combined to a defined pension plan which as an actuarial value of $10,000 per year at least. Therefore, each year, I’m saving 11.11% of my total income for my retirement.
This is why my debt-to-income ratio is not worrying me. The problem is when you have such a ratio and you don’t save for retirement or try to pay down your debts. Therefore, you wake up one day, you are turning 50 and you still have a ratio over 150%. This is where the problem is!
How would you feel if we would force you to save money tomorrow in a FRSP?Google+ Comments: 16 Read More
We are back for another weekend roundup. The summer is so close. The longest day of the year is coming up. Are you ready?
What’s worth checking out?
7 Biggest mistakes I made as a lifestyle entrepreneur @ Location 180.
Sean Ogle dives into his mistakes that he has made over the years. This article really made me think and reflect about some of my mistakes. Sean makes some good points on products and fostering relationships.
Is it possible to eat like a vegan? @ Kettlebell Rebels.
Sorry for the shameless plug, but I wanted to show you guys how I managed to try to eat like a vegan.
Time for the carnivals…Google+ Comments: 0 Read More
Has your spending been out of control? Do you want to get things back on track?
I must admit that my spending falls off-track once in a while. Despite writing about saving money for the last 5 years, I still make plenty of mistakes. It’s easy to get distracted in life. It’s also easy to lose track of the basics and the fundamentals that got you to where you are. This is why you always hear people talking about going back to the basics. This is what we will do here. It’s time to go back to the basics and save some money.
Before we can save any money, we have to fix our spending so that we watch where are hard-earned money goes. As I’m sure your parents told you growing up, it doesn’t matter how much money you make, it’s how much you save that counts.
Let’s get started!
How can you fix your spending in 7 days?
This is the most common advice for a reason. It works. If you don’t know where your money or what the problem is, you’ll never be able to fix it. This same logic applies to your eating and other habits in your life.
The good news is that you don’t have to be one of those folks that tracks spending 24/7. I personally could not imagine doing that. However, I want you to track your spending for the next week so that you see where your money goes on an average week. The trick is ensure that it’s a typical week and not an anomaly where you’re away on a trip or have to spend huge money on bills. Just your average week.
How can you track spending?
The whole point of tracking is to see where you’re making mistakes.
What are your problems area?
My problem area for the longest time has been food. Every single time I track my spending I noticed that my spending on food is out of control. I now track only how much I spend on food because I don’t really spend much on anything else.
The trick is to find your problem areas.
It just won’t work if you try to cut back on everything all at once.
Attack your problem areas. Attack one at a time ruthlessly until you have it figured out. Be aggressive Try to cut back. Try to find alternatives. Work on it slowly.
I’ve come to accept that I’ll never be perfect with my eating. The goal isn’t to be perfect. The goal is to be better. A little better every day will go a long way. You can slowly attack one problem area at a time.
The goal is to find out what your problem areas are and to decide which one you’ll go after first.
That’s how you can fix your spending in a week.
Where are you spending all of your money?Google+ Comments: 4 Read More
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