Tuesday, July 22

When It's Not Your Time

When It's Not Your Time

A breathtaking clip of close shaves with death. Shows us how fragile our lives can be and why we should treasure our loved ones more.

Tuesday, July 15

5 Life Lessons Learned From Goalkeepers

Unlike previous World Cups, this year has been a highlight for goalkeepers. We are so used to goal scorers and goal creators hogging the headlines that it is actually quite refreshing to see goal stoppers leading the news.

There are many outstanding keepers this World Cup like Guillermo Ochoa of Mexico, Tim Howard of USA and Keylor Navas of Costa Rica probably stands out from the rest. Most notable mentions are for Tim Krul of the Netherlands and the ever consistent Manual Neuer of Germany who also won the Golden Glove award for being the top goalkeeper at the World Cup 2014 in Brazil. They have all made significant contribution to their team's chances of getting through to the next round. 

As we talk about the goals and saves of the World Cup we should note that there are some important lessons to be learnt from it too. Here are some things we can learn from goalkeepers;

1) There is always that one friend that will back you up

Manual Neuer of Germany won the Golden Glove award for being the top goalkeeper at the World Cup 2014 in Brazil. He produced many crucial saves throughout the competition. His ability to control and pass the ball with comfort at his penalty area with his feet as well as timely runs out from his box to clear danger has enabled his teammates the confidence to roam forward searching for goals. 

Look around us. Do we have a friend or someone who will back us up no matter how many times we may screw up or when we need a back to lean on?

2) Life is not always fair 

Jasper Cillessen was Netherlands's number one goalkeeper throughout the World Cup but was being substituted by Tim Krul when the game against Costa Rica went into penalties. Tim Krul went on to save 2 penalties and became a national hero for bringing Netherlands to the semi finals. 
Cillessen's performance had been consistently good throughout the tournament and made a few crucial saves during the match. But to be substituted in such a manner is in a sense, insulting to him. 

Do we sometime find ourselves being overlooked no matter how much effort we put in?

3) No risk, No gain

Based on the above example, taking out your number one choice goalkeeper and replacing him when he is on form takes a lot of courage and a huge risk as well. For whatever reason, this gamble paid off in huge dividends as Netherlands successfully gained entry to the next round. 

There are many major decisions each of us has to make in our lifetime, whether it is based on calculated risk or just plain luck. The idea is to just stick to it and follow through and we may just get what we wished  for.

4) There is a thin line between being a hero and a villain

It's tough being a goalkeeper at any level and especially at such a big tournament like the World Cup. A goalkeeper can make 9 saves out of 10 shots and nobody notices, but the 1 shot that he lets in will invite the whole world's condemnation. This is in total contrast to being an outfield player or even a striker whose job is to score goals. 1 shot that ends up being a goal against 9 misses he make and still he will be adorned like a hero.

5) Keep trying and you'll succeed

Tim Howard made a record of 16 saves and was outstanding in a match against Belgium and it was not until extra time that the Belgium managed to score against him. Although both teams did not deserve to lose, it also shows that perseverance will get you through if you try hard enough.  The Belgians succeeded on their sixteenth try.  How many tries are we willing to make in order to achieve our goals? That is the question we have to ask ourselves.  

Wednesday, July 2

6 Jars To Financial Freedom

The 6 Jars To Financial Freedom

Since young, we have all been taught on the importance of saving, saving and saving. Our parents advised us, our teachers educated us, society warned us. But many questions are still not answered. What is savings, how much to save, where do we save in, when do we save?  

A very big contributing factor as to why people tend to save intermittently is that there is no system for their savings and also the lack of discipline, succumbing to our inner devil to use up our savings for some better stuffs in our life. 

Why is having a system important? I used to save by putting excess coin each day in my piggy bank. Another person might simply save what they have left at the end of each month in their bank account. Insurance policies might be a better way though, but all the insurance jargon like endowment, guaranteed payouts, premiums, deductibles and non deductibles leaves me wondering how much i have actually saved. 

And often, the avid saver will wonder if he is missing out on the good stuff in life. One reason why people are dissatisfied with their savings or are completely devoid of it is because most people don’t have a system for saving. Some save by putting in their excess coins in a jar, while others save what’s left of their monthly salary after all expenses have been covered (and yes, that includes shopping).

So all such queries leave me wanting a system where i can track my savings, and such a system is what i found from T. Harv Eker, a millionaire motivational speaker who is the author of Secrets of the Millionaire Mind and i had the chance to attend one of his talks on this savings system called the “Jars Money Management System”, and it is to apportion your earnings by percentages and placing them into 6 different jars for 6 different purposes.

The Jars Money Management System were all taken from this amazing eye opener book i read "Secrets of the Millionaire Mind". It provided an insight to a great money saving system

1) Financial Freedom Account or FFA (10%)

Every month when you receive your salary, immediately take 10% from it and place into this FFA account. This account should only be used for the sole purpose of growing your money and should never be reduced except for investment. Any gain from investment should immediately be placed back into this account.

You should NEVER NEVER EVER EVER take money from this account.

2) Necessity Account (55%)

It will be interesting to note that one person's necessity is another person's want. Example, a car would be a luxury to me as i can travel to my workplace or any place of my interest by Bus or Mrt as i stay near such means of transport. It would be good to have but not a must for me. For a person whose livelihood depends on the urgency to reach his destination, i would say it's a need to have a car. Probably like in the case of housing agents.

It would be a matter of some lifestyle changes if we are to stick to this 50% necessity spending habit.
We can choose to dress simpler by buying new clothes or shoes every other month rather than every month.
Movie watching shall be reduced to a every blockbuster affair instead of a monthly one.

3) Long Term Savings (10%)

Similar to the FFA account, this is also a savings jar. However, the difference is such that we will be saving for a specific purpose. Its could be a long awaited holiday, or perhaps an item of desire like the state of the art notebook. Set aside 10% of your income to cover such expenses.

4) Education (10%)

I find this jar rather weird but on second thought, educating our self is one area we should not neglect. You can use this account to buy self-improvement books, attend seminars on wealth strategies or simply take up a course to learn something you always wanted to but never had the time or excuse to do so.

5) Play (10%)

I love this jar the most! The best thing about this jar is that i can spend the money from this jar on whatever i want without feeling guilty. The general rule is to empty this jar every month. Go to the most expensive restaurant, get the top range massage, go first class on everything.

Well, since we have already set aside money for our other purposes, we can spend this jar without worries. Most importantly is to get that feel good factor in ourselves. The idea is to let loose and to relieve us from the restrictions on our spending as one day our inner devil may break free and we might just make a wrong decision due to that and lose all our savings based on a wrong judgement.

6) Give (5%)

This might not come across your mind, but we are always spending and giving to other people. Whether it's for a birthday, housewarming or even attending a wedding, we do spend a good amount every month for such purposes.

Having highlighted the allocation for the 6 jars, keeping these jars in a place visible to you is one way to help maintain this habit and a constant reminder about your spending habits. However, if you feel insecure placing money in jars at home, an alternative is to keep the money in a bank account as long as you know exactly how much money is to be in each jar your have.

The habit of saving is more important than the amount saved. At the end of the day, whatever money saved is still yours to keep and spend. Having implemented on this method for close to 8 months, I personally find this method effective and will continue to stick to it. The amount i saved using this method probably equates to the amount i would have saved my entire life.

Oh, if there are others ways out there, feel free to share with me. :)