Some might think it unfathomable to be considering ways to become wealthy
in the midst of a recession, but there is never a bad time to try to leverage
your talents and resources in an effort to boost your net worth. Even in
the face of market volatility, and even if you don't foresee a salary increase
in the next few years, there are some things you can do to build upon your
wealth, most of which start with simply changing your way of thinking.
First and foremost, try and think of your wealth as the sum total of your
decisions to date. Think about that long and hard. No one but you
is responsible for your wealth - or lack thereof. Where you find yourself
today is the total of your efforts and decisions since you were equipped with
the brainpower to execute such things. Get excited and make some new
decisions today. Decide to build up a massive desire for that which you
want most for your life. Your desire for happiness will bring you
happiness, just as your desire for wealth will bring you wealth. Once
your mind is made up, the desire will translate into a tremendous amount of
extra energy and brainpower, which will be needed to accomplish your desired
It may help to narrow your focus and simplify your strategies by breaking your
ultimate goal down into a number of smaller goals. Map out a path to that
pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Maintain your focus, and make a
conscious decision to dominate anything that best exploits your skills and
talents. You might find that it helps to study the decision-making
processes of your mentors, and other folks you admire for their success.
Find out why they make their decisions the way they do.
Finally, remember that indecision can breed failure. Welcome to Earth,
where you are doomed to make choices.
Are you overloaded with
work, family and personal demands, often rushing to adhere to a stressful
"24/7" schedule? If so, your everyday meal solutions don't need
to come from drive-through windows or Styrofoam take-out boxes. Even with
a busy lifestyle, you can put nutritious meals on your dinner table with
ease. Being time-starved doesn't mean you have to sacrifice
nutrition. A few small changes in your meal and snack strategies can
yield positive results.
Supermarkets today offer an array of partially
prepared products and other kitchen "shortcuts." When you're
busy, you can still put good nutrition on your table without doing all the
time-consuming preparation yourself.
- Keep fresh lettuce on hand and then add
nutrient-rich extras: grated cheese; bite-size grilled chicken, tofu, or
chopped hard-boiled eggs; cut-up vegetables; sliced apples, pears, or berries;
toasted nuts or seeds. (Keep a variety of salad dressings on hand for
- Add your own flair to
"ready-to-prepare" dishes: add diced lean ham, chicken breast, or
chopped carrots, broccoli or tomatoes to cooked macaroni and cheese; chopped
dried fruit or nuts to rice; sliced red and green peppers, mushrooms, and broccoli
florets to a good quality frozen pizza.
- Flavor your protein with prepared sauces and
spreads: barbecue, steak or teriyaki sauce on pork chops, chicken breasts,
burgers, or fish steaks; hummus as a sandwich spread; salsas for quick tacos or
quesadillas; pasta-ready or pizza-ready herbed tomato sauces.
- Use any oil-vinegar based dressing as a
vegetable, meat, poultry or seafood marinade.
Do It Ahead
When you're doing it all yourself, it's best to
do it ahead. Spend some kitchen time on nights or weekends for easy meal
prep during the week.
- Plan - Keep an ongoing shopping list so you
always have nutritious, easy-to-prepare ingredients on hand.
- Pre-prep when you can. Put breakfast
cereal and bowls on the table or put together a packed lunch the night
before. Assemble tomorrow's casserole while you clean up from tonight's
dinner. Wash and slice raw veggies ahead so they're ready for snacking,
salads, or a stir-fry.
- Make double or triple batches. With
soup, stew, salads (i.e., pasta salad or chicken salad), sauce, or whole
grains, such as rice, you can make enough at a time for several meals. Or
prepare two casseroles at a time - one for now, one to freeze for later.
- Cook once for two different
dishes/meals. For example, grill enough chicken breasts for dinner
tonight and for lunch tomorrow. Prepare hearty vegetable soup on Sunday;
add chicken or beans and rice for variation on Tuesday. Cook plenty of
pasta - some for tonight's primavera, some for tomorrow's pasta salad.
The success of any
relationship depends entirely upon a couple's ability to weather through
inevitable life transitions. Problems in a relationship can range from the
relatively benign flaws in communication to serious pain and trust violations
due to such acts as infidelity. Outlined below are several characteristics of
successful relationships. These qualities are integral parts of a healthy
relationship foundation, and if you have them in place, your chances for a
strong, lasting relationship are far increased.
- Friendship: Couples who have a strong
friendship have staying power. They not only love each other but genuinely like
each other as people and enjoy spending time together.
- Communication: Those who are able to openly
express their feelings in an emotionally safe environment typically deal with
situations as they come up and avoid burying frustrations which always have a
way of coming out at some point.
- Humor: Partners who can make each other laugh
tend to be good at de-escalating conflicts when they do arise.
- Affection: Happy couples can find easy ways
to say "I love you" without the words. These moments can be
invaluable, especially in the throes of a chaotic lifestyle. Whether it's a
hug, kiss, tussle of the hair, or sitting on laps, these acts of affection keep
couples connected when life gets crazy.
- Chore Sharing: Those who divide household or
parenting responsibilities in a way that is mutually agreed upon are less
likely to harbor resentments about what they perceive as unfair.
- Sexual Intimacy: Partners who have their
sexual needs met feel taken care of by the other. Some couples are highly
active, while others are content with far less sexual intimacy. There is no
right or wrong amount of lovemaking. Negotiation and understanding, however, is
needed to make sure no one feels neglected.
- A Relationship Vision: Couples who have
created a "relationship vision" for themselves know where they're
going and where they'll be in 10, 20, or 30 years, because they've planned it
together. They experience great joy out of seeing the big picture of their
relationship and reaching for their goals as a team.
|"My interest is in the future, because I am going to spend the rest of my life there." - Charles F. Kettering
The only constant in life
is change, so it's likely that you've experienced it many times. Though
we all go through periods of change, some embrace it and deal with it quite
effectively, while others suffer from "transition anxiety" and find
themselves completely derailed by the shifts and surprises that life dishes
out, which leaves them feeling uncertain about how to approach a new situation,
and the future as a whole. The following are some ideas for coping with
change and channeling it into a pleasurable, life-enhancing phenomenon.
- Accept uncertainty. Many people fear the
uncertain because they associate it with a negative, maybe even
life-threatening, situation. In many cases, uncertainty is a sign of better
things to come. Prepare for both desirable and undesirable scenarios so you'll
have an idea of what to expect when the unexpected arrives.
- Look forward to the future. We can't change
the past, so we have to accept it, learn from what has happened, and move
forward. Looking ahead to the future means setting goals -and setting goals
means working toward your dreams. As long as you're moving in the direction of
your dreams, how can the future be anything to dread?
- Pay attention to your surroundings. Once you
recognize that change can occur at any time, look for subtle clues that change
could be on the horizon in your own specific situation. For example, has
management been handing out an increasing number of pink slips? If so, it might
be a good time to take a class that would increase your value in the eyes of
- Communication is key. Don't just sit back and
wait for things to happen. When you're standing on the threshold of imminent
change, communicate with others to learn the nature of the change and what you
can do to better adapt to it.
- Change requires flexibility. In the face of
change, think about what skills and lessons, from your old role or situation that
you can apply to the new circumstances. In the event that your new
situation calls for a different skill set or new lessons, be open to learning
In This Issue
Improving Your Focus
Have you ever had one of
those days where you just didn't know what to do or where to begin, despite the
mountain of tasks on your plate? We've all had those days when we just can't
seem to get focused. When that happens, what do you do? Do you simply ignore
your to-do list and go with your whimsy, or do you pour over your to-do list
and wring your hands without ever really getting anything done? The next time
you're feeling unfocused, there are a number of things you can try to get back
When you find yourself doing anything except what
you're supposed to be doing, try to rediscover what your immediate role is at
that time. There is only one rule involved with this technique, and that is
that only one role can be played at any given time. If you apply this rule to
multiple aspects of your life, it will make finding your focus so much simpler.
If you are supposed to be writing, then you are a writer, and nothing else at
that time. If you need to be painting your living room, then you are a painter
right now, and any other roles you might play come second. If you need to be
baking for a fundraising event, then your role that day will be baker, and your
place should be in the kitchen.
It all sounds so simple, and it truly is. Direct
focus toward what you need to accomplish, define your role, and work only
within those parameters until that task is complete and you're ready to take on
Busting Road Rage
Driver frustration is on
the upswing these days as our highways become more congested and lives become more
hectic. However, the road is no place to air your life's grievances, no matter
how flustered you become with the other drivers around you. The root causes of
road rage lie deep within the person experiencing it, but we all can learn to
cope with this anger by taking an honest look at our driving behavior and
making an effort to reduce our stress levels behind the wheel.
One of the best things you can do to avoid road
rage associated with running late is to plan ahead. Sometimes, simply leaving
10-15 minutes earlier than usual can save you from having to drive aggressively
to avoid being late. This will also allow you extra time to stop for coffee or
gas if need be. Also, make sure to get plenty of sleep each night to avoid
crankiness on your morning commute.
Remember that your vehicle is not your
therapist, nor is it a punching bag. If your boss or your partner has left you
in a sour mood, don't use your driving as a way to blow off steam, no matter
how much power you have under the hood. Listen to some soft music on your way
home, loosen your grip on the wheel, and take some deep breaths. Then, when you
get home, go for a run or punch the daylights out of your pillow.
Anger is toxic and risky to bring out onto the
road with you - it can easily spread to other people, resulting in sometimes
fatal accidents. If you're so upset that you think you might engage in road
rage behavior, pull off until you've calmed down, or don't get behind the wheel
until you're ready. We're all bound to lose our cool at some point, but by
planning ahead and keeping things in perspective, we can prevent our emotions
from getting the best of us.
How to Get the Recognition You Deserve
If you feel like your
accomplishments at work deserve recognition, then they probably do! Don't be
too modest about what you've worked so hard to achieve. Here are a few pointers
for getting the recognition you deserve:
- Privately, tell
your boss what you've accomplished. Be brief, to the point, and share the
credit if others were involved.
- If you can
quantify your achievements, by all means, do so. For example, "I
brought in $34K in new sales alone last quarter..."
- Rather than brag
about yourself, describe what you learned from an experience wherein you
others for their accomplishments. When you praise others, they're more
likely to praise you, and it makes it more palatable when you praise
- Request feedback
and express your gratitude for it whether it's positive or negative.
People will recognize that you're attempting to improve.
- Ask for tough
assignments - this will give you visibility and let your boss know you
want to grow and excel. If you're "invisible," you won't be in
the running for raises or promotions.
- Talk openly
about the recognition you're looking to earn to let others know you have
goals in mind and you're working toward the future.