Some say compounding interest is the 9th wonder of the world.
Imagine you invest $4 a day for 20 years at 6% interest. Four dollars is a small sum of money. After twenty years, you would have almost $60k. If you did it for 40 years, it would be closer to a quarter of a million. Not bad for $4. If you only made a $100 a day, those $4 is just 4% of your earnings.
How many people know this but don’t do it? After all, $4 a day is $120 a month. $120 a month is a bit more daunting.
And if you do invest the money, you are not guaranteed the return. The interest could change, the value of the currency could change, or disaster could hit. No guarantees. No security.
What if there was a guarantee? What if there was a sure-fire way to get a return on a 4% investment, a return that would pay dividends for the rest of your life? Would you do it?
If you said yes, then it is time to invest in yourself. What is a 4% investment into yourself? It is…
One hour of your day.
Imagine spending one hour of your day:
Working on your fitness. How much more enjoyable would be your life in your senior years?
Reading. How would this improve your mental development and ability to think critically?
Meditating. Oh, the peace of mind and presence that could be achieved?
Developing a hobby into a future career. Doing what you love and getting paid to do it. That’s a hard one to beat.
One hour a day doing something that could make your life better. It might mean sacrificing something else. Is there something you could cut away? Anything, that is not as important as your future you? Who is too busy to spend one hour a day improving one’s self?
One Take from the Week #9: Unintentional Consequences of Delaying Your Dreams
Ever since childhood, Carl was a dreamer. When he was a child, he watched a movie that left a lasting impression on him. The world was much bigger than he realized. Beyond his little neighborhood was a vast unknown waiting to be explored. That day, Carl made up his mind. He was going to be an adventurer and travel to the far reaches of the world.
That was Carl’s dream, but he did something different. He did what he was expected to do. He didn’t have the money to follow his dreams, so he got a job. He met someone with a similar dream, and they got married. To save up enough money to go on their adventures, his wife got a job.
They had a plan. It was a good plan. In fact, it was the logical plan that responsible people are encouraged to make. But in the movie Up, we realize that plans are only plans and have no guarantees. Carl and Ellie continued to dream and to work as they got older. Ellie ended up dying and they never got to go on their adventure together.
Carl’s story reminds me of Jack. Jack owned a construction and built houses all over town. Like Carl, he also dreamed of travelling the world with his wife. One day he was going to slow down and retire. What he didn’t count on was becoming a widower. His loss was devastating, and his quality of life took a dramatic turn for the worse. Eventually, his daughter forced him to move in with her and her family. This didn’t go over well and what ensued was War with Grandpa.
The lesson could be that wives should never die before their husbands, but it is not. Instead, the lesson is about the unintentional consequences of delaying your dreams. No one is guaranteed tomorrow, let alone another twenty years and a comfortable retirement. If your dreams are nothing more than a fantasy, that is fine. Have your fantasy. But if this dream is important enough, you must start setting it into motion today. Make the plans, lay the groundwork, and attack it with all your being. Don’t let these dreams only be wasted thoughts. Bring them from the world of illusions into reality.
I listened to a guided meditation this morning and one of the key things I heard was the sentence, “I am.” It is short and simple with no attachments to it. It is a state of being in the present. No “I will be” or “I was,” only “I am.”
Too often I have been in the past or in the future. Too often, the question has been, “What have I done?” or “What will I do?” I have allowed these questions and those thoughts to take over and consume my mind. Regarding the future and my own arrogance concerning it, I have boasted of the things I am going to do. But no man can see the future, least of all me. Who am I to divine the things to come? Unable to change the past or control the future, I can only influence the present.
Rather than say, “What am I going to do in the future,” I should ask myself, “What can I do right now?” I can create a body of work that my future self will be both content with and better off because of. But this is only possible if I remain in the present, only in the “I am.”
We can blindly accept things as true. Whether it be the news, gossip, or something heard in the grapevine, we can take a path of least resistance. That way, no effort is involved, and we gladly follow along with the crowd.
Or we can take a half-measure. We can hear the news, conduct an online search, and be done with it. Our suspicions were unwarranted as confirmed by the first article listed in the search results.
The Buddha said, “There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth: not going all the way and not starting.”
Your body is a temple. Why would you put anything in your body without knowing the truth of what it is? Do you know what is in the food or medicine you consume? Did you do the research or just go along with what you were told? You only get one body.
Your mind is the Holy of Holies in your temple. This too should be protected. You do your best to prevent viruses onto your computer. Viruses carry information with the power to corrupt the operating system. Likewise, what you consume mentally can corrupt the most sacred parts of who you are. Beware and protect. Consume information but validate it. Understand what it is before you implement or spread it. Is it truth? For it is the truth we should seek. It is the truth that gives us the freedom to be our own masters.
I cannot recall how many times I have found myself bogged down in the middle of a book that either lost my interest or was not pertinent to where I was in my life. Unless it is for pleasure (fiction before bed), I generally only read non-fiction. This is for the dual purpose of learning and growing. If I am not getting anything out of the book, then I consider it a waste of time. As William Penn once said, “Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.” My goal is not to have time as something I use the worst.
How can I make the most of my time and prevent a loss of it through wasted reading? I could quit the book like I mentioned in yesterday’s post. This would allow me to discontinue my investment in an underperforming asset. But there is another way. This week I listened to a Living 4D podcast with Paul Check and Ben Greenfield. In this episode, they discussed a method I have heard of from other prolific readers but have never tried personally. It is called OPIR, a way to know what you are reading before you invest (or waste) the time it takes to read the whole thing.
OPIR – Overview, Preview, Inview, Review.
*This strategy was designed to use speed reading techniques to get through business manuals. However, I am not a speed reader. I have tried it and never liked it. It might keep me behind the curve, but I prefer to read at conversational speed. Because I am not a speed reader, the following is my adaptions to the original design.
Start with the cover.
Look at the front and the back.
Read the information inside the jacket.
If you are not familiar with the author, then read the bio.
Look at the table of contents. Are you still interested? If yes, then move on to the next step.
Read the foreword and the afterword.
Go to each chapter and read the first couple of paragraphs. Skim the rest of the chapter and highlight anything that stands out to you.
Is the book worth the investment in time you are about the make? Proceed.
Read the book.
During the overview and preview, you read the table of contents and glimpsed each chapter. Was there one that you did not find relevant or interesting? Skip it. If at the end, you feel like you missed something, you can always go back to it.
Go over your notes and highlights.
Take any actionable steps.
Hopefully, this book changed your life in some way. The review process is intended to solidify those changes.
Using this process to read a book might cost you a day’s worth of reading. Compare that to a week or a month’s worth wasted in a book that was not beneficial to you. This strategy will improve the value of the content, keep you from wasting your time, and give you a greater ability to retain the information. Give it a try. If you do, I would love to know how it worked out for you. Leave me a note in the comments.
Books can be expensive. Not just the cover price, but in the time it takes to read it. Let’s pretend you buy a 300-page book for $25, and you earn $15 per hour. That book will take about five hours to read which equates to $75 of potential income. Your investment into that book is $100. When was the last time you spent $100 on a book? Now, consider the last time a book cost you a $100.
Again, let us pretend that you purchased the book and have read half of it. You have come to the realization that this book is not doing what you wanted it too. Maybe it:
Has become boring,
Is no longer interesting,
Failed to educate you, or
Is not relevant to where you are at in life.
What are you going to do? Will you keep reading it because of that $25 cover price and investment in time? If this were an underperforming stock would you continue to invest in it? Absolutely not! So, what must you do?
Give yourself permission to
Quit the book!
What is a $25 waste compared to a $100 waste? Quit the book. Put it away and find another one that will give you what you are looking for. But how do you find the right book? That is an excellent question. Come back tomorrow for the eighth installment of One Take from the Week, and we will discuss a book reading process that is changing my life and could change yours. You don’t want to miss it, and you won’t if you subscribe below.
A tyrant would tell you how to live. He would expect you to serve at his pleasure. To him, you do not have the capability to live life on your own terms. Therefore, he would take that opportunity from you. He believes your life belongs to him.
This does beg the questions. Can you live life on your own terms? Can you make the best decisions for you do you have to be led by a parental hand?
I trained myself in the school of self-control and self-denial. It was hard on me, but I would rather be my own tyrant than have someone else tyrannize me.
A person lacking discipline must be guided. Without discipline and/or guidance, you incur upon yourself unnecessary suffering manifested in the form of poor health, financial hardships, and unrewarding relationships. At the worst, your inability to control yourself could result in a stay at a local penitentiary.
Marcus Aurelius said, “Be tolerant with others and strict with yourself.” Through discipline and temperance, you can become your own tyrant. This is a key to getting where you want to go rather than have someone lead you to where they want you to go. If you want to be your own master, then you must learn to rule yourself.
We have entered a stage in world history where we are governed by the most ridiculous rules. Most of these rules are implemented for our own “good” by the government. But that is not all, we are also governed on the standards of what is socially acceptable.
In the old days, this determination was established by your community. Today, it is determined by corporations, i.e., tech companies. What you say and do, if it is not deemed appropriate or in accordance with the ideals of the mob, will result in your silence. Your voice could be cancelled. At the worst, depending on how inappropriate you are considered, much more could be cancelled. And it is not just what you did today or yesterday, it could go as far back as your childhood.
Any fool can make a rule -and every fool will mind it.
Henry David Thoreau
New rules come out every day. Will you blindly go along with the masses and acquiesce? Or will you use the discernment and understanding God has given you to question the validity of the rule?
An old friend that you haven’t seen in years. That is not the same person you knew from before. And you? You are not the same either. You may be like your old self, but you are different. Experience has changed you, and it has changed her. Maybe for the worst, but hopefully for the best.
You are excited to see that friend. You want to know what she has done and how she has grown over the years. You want to witness her evolution. Likewise, you want to demonstrate your own evolution and let her know that you are also doing well. The tragedy would be if either one of you were to seem stagnant, the same as you were years ago.
No man steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.
We grow, learn, and evolve. Daily, we are adding new layers to our lives. Just as the water molecules in the river are not the same water molecules that were in it previously, you are not the same person you were previously. Even if you feel you haven’t grown, you still have changed. But by how much? What have you done to grow, learn, and evolve? We are never too old to move forward, never too old to be a different person entering the river again.
Consider the souls that have touched your life. Consider the acts of kindness, love, and friendship that you will never be able to forget. These are rare gifts that we should hold dear. Those moments are the catalysts for the stories worth remembering and worth telling. And once they are passed down, they inspire others to acts in similar ways.
Or maybe, it will inspire the recipient of that love and friendship to be more loving and to be a better friend to others. Maybe one generous act of kindness crossing your path of destiny will change your course so dramatically that others will also be affected. The result would be an exponential return of love. The result would be a truly better world.
No love, no friendship can cross the path of our destiny without forever leaving some mark on it forever.