Monday, January 19, 2009

Keeping Your Head in a disaster

If you are feeling worried or stressed then this article will help you to gain a sense of balance. Tried and tested methods for reaching a state where you can keep your head in a crisis when all around you are trailing theirs.
There is an art to keeping your head when everyone around you is losing theirs. The secret is in how you conduct yourself on a day to day basis. If you’re not sure whether you would be able to keep your head in a crisis then you would benefit from the advice in this article. Read on.
Whingers, Worriers, and What’s All the Fuss About.
Generally speaking when it comes to a crisis, or an impending crisis, there are three broad types of reactions.
Type one are the whingers. Whingers are the sort of people who go around spreading the bad news. If someone comes up to you and says “Oh dear, it’s awful, have you heard…” then you can reasonably assume that you are dealing with a whinger. Whingers like nothing more than to spend their time spreading bad news and getting other people to feel miserable with them. There are exceptions to this but as a rule the only way to deal with a whinger is to say never mind and then get on with what you are doing. Don’t buy into their misery, they really can make a drama out of a spring shower.
Type two are the worriers. Worriers are more of a nuisance to themselves than anyone else. They can make themselves thoroughly miserable over what might happen and spoil a pretty good day. It is pointless telling them not to worry. The only thing you can do is refuse to worry along with them. In some cases they will swallow their surprise at your seemingly hardened attitude and may take a leaf out of your book. In which case their lives will be easier and you don’t have to listen to what bothers them.
Finally there are those people who simply wonder what the fuss is all about. These are generally the kinds of people who are able to keep their heads in a crisis. So what do you have to do to become a person who wants to know what all the fuss is about so that they can help put it right?

Apart from the above advice regarding whingers and worriers, there are a three other steps you can take to make your life easier and help you to keep your head in a crisis.
Methods to Avoid Losing Your Head
However busy you are always take some time at the end of the day to review its happenings and to make a list of things that you are thankful for. It might be a baby’s smile, a nice meal, a sunny day, or whatever else you regard as good in your life. Just write down how grateful you are for those things and read through the lists often. What you can develop from this is an attitude of gratitude which will color how you look at the rest of life.
Recognize the following, you cannot control other people’s behavior, the weather simply is, time itself is not a problem, it is what you do with it that matters. It is ok to fail, everyone makes mistakes, just shrug your shoulders and start again. If a job is worth doing then it’s worth doing badly. This is not an injunction not to be bothered, but to recognize that we are imperfect beings in a less than perfect world and if a job drags on the only way forward is to get it done as best you can, badly even.
Always take some time in the day for yourself, no matter what is going on. You can’t help others if there is no store to give from. Don’t feel you have to justify your every action. If you know you’ve made a mistake then admit it and move on, don’t let others drag you into their manipulation of you.

Take all this simple advice on board. If you do these things consistently then not only will you feel better about yourself and the world in general, if a crisis does occur, you’ll find it much easier to keep your head while all around you are loosing theirs.

Sense of balance wealth building with lifestyle

LIFE has no bigger juggling act than the one performed by people aged in their 30s and 40s.
Children, ageing parents, the advance, credit cards, keeping up with the Joneses, careers and holidays all compete for the time and cash of the so-called Generation X - people born between the mid-1960s and late 1970s.

With such a busy lifestyle today, it is easy to fail to remember about building wealth to make tomorrow much more calm.

We asked South Australian financial experts for their tips and traps to help Generation X steer their way to a wealthy middle age.

KeyInvest managing director Ian Campbell said the 30s and 40s was a time of wealth accumulation: ``When smart savings and investment strategies can make a major difference when retirement finally comes around''.
"A key tip for Generation Xers is to set the financial foundations now for the long-term future. Although retirement may not be in front of mind for many, the money invested now can bring outstanding benefits 20 or 30 years down the track,'' he said.
"It is critical to prepare a weekly household budget and stick to it. This will allow you to prioritise your spending and allocate a proportion of your household income to investment and savings.''
Smartline Blackwood mortgage adviser Cathy Anderson said the family spending plan did not have to be ``mean''.
"Make sure there is some breathing space in there for things like gifts and take-away coffee a couple of times a week,'' she said.
"With many families in this age group having both partners working, what can often work well is to have the larger salary allocated to paying the bills and the home loan.
With the second salary, half can go to living expenses with the second half earmarked for saving and investing, or accelerating debt reduction.''
Nothing can build wealth as easily and as passively as owning your own home.
When Adelaide's median house price was $123,000 in 1999, almost nobody predicted it would be $350,000 in 2009.
Gains in the value of your home are tax-free, and while there are likely to be ups and downs in the future, history has shown that house prices always rise over time.
"Those who still haven't purchased their first home would do well to enter the market early this year, particularly with the First Home Owners Grant and low interest rates,'' Zobel Modbury manager Nick Foale said.
"For those looking to expand as the kids come along, it's a great time to be looking at mid-to-top-end properties as the market levels out,'' he said.
Homeowners can take advantage of recent interest rate cuts by maintaining their existing repayment levels, which will shave years and tens of thousands of dollars off a typical mortgage.
Repaying the home loan faster also frees up equity in the home which can be used for investing. NAB state general manager retail banking Ann-Marie Chamberlain said making extra repayments also built a buffer for when children arrived and the family's income dropped.
"The more voluntary repayments you can make in advance, the further ahead you will be when it's time to take maternity leave,'' she said.
"If you're far enough in front, this may give you the flexibility to lower your repayments for a period of time while you're living on one income.''
Whether its shares, a rental property, managed fund or their own business, most people only become wealthy when they invest in assets other than their home.
"If you have equity in your home, think about whether you want to use that to create future wealth,'' Ms Chamberlain said.
"It's worth seeking advice from a financial planner who can help you to navigate the investment landscape. The key is not to leave wealth creation until the last minute, but to plan it well in advance,'' she said.
Zobel's Mr Foale said in terms of shares, there were some ``excellent cost-effective options currently on the market, particulary in the banking and mining areas''.
"As with everything, do your research first,'' he said.
Superannuation is the most tax-effective way to save for retirement, and once you get there it is even better, thanks to the Federal Government last year making withdrawals tax-free for those aged over 60.
Co-contributions, spouse contributions and salary sacrifice are among the terms and strategies people should educate themselves about, said financial strategist Theo Marinis.
"Contribute bonuses to your superannuation - you won't miss them now, but they will generate great returns for you by the time you retire,'' he said.
Education can be the mother of all expenses, particulary for parents of children who attend private schools.
South Australian Secondary Principals Association president Jim Davies said some parents spent much of their life savings to send their children to an independent school.
"On average, the cost to put your child through an independent school is around $12,000 a year in fees. Over a 13-year education period, this amounts to a massive $156,000,'' he said.
An alternative was public schools, where fees ranged from $300 to $900 a year, he said. KeyInvest's Mr Campbell said there were products available to help parents save.
"The importance of a child's education cannot be overstated and Generation Xers can begin saving for this from the moment their child is born. Putting money away when children are still young for other likely life events further down the track, such as weddings or their first home deposit, can reduce the financial strain in later years,'' he said.
Mr Marinis said a potential trap was assuming you would remain employed until age 65.
"Big corporations in particular tend to make older people redundant, damaging a lot of retirement savings plans,'' he said.
People who aim to be financially secure by their 50s, rather than their 60s, will see working in their later years as a luxury instead of a necessity.
Apart from the emotional pain of a marriage break-up, the financial effects can be disastrous. Mr Marinis said divorce dramatically increased the chances of poverty in retirement.
Wealth For Life principal Rex Whitford said divorce was the biggest trap for generation X.
"Having spent so much effort in building up assets, to see half disappear and have to effectively start again can be an unrecoverable situation,'' he said.
"While there are some very good reasons why some people separate or divorce, in many cases the best financial advice would be to get professional marriage counselling to determine if there is any way forward.''
Life and disability insurance and income protection cover are vital for people who have a family and don't want them to suffer financially should disaster strike.
On the financial side, Ord Minnett private client adviser James Scott-Young said people should consider risk management as much as asset acquisition.
"They need to set gearing limits, diversify their entire asset base, acquire quality investments regularly in small chunks, and ensure their household has a cash flow that can weather the worst case scenario,'' he said.

Each and every day new things, discoveries and professions become known

Life Coaching: What It is and What It is Not

The world we are living in is speedily changing, and so is our life. Each and every day new things, discoveries, and professions come into view. One of these comparatively new professions is life coaching. In spite of the fact that it is only about 10 years old, many people still don't know what life coaching is about. What is Life Coaching? What do Life Coaches do? These two questions I hear nearly every day, so I thought it would be good to have my answers in writing. Here are some ideas on it.

If you feel like you are not living up to your potential, the best thing to do is focus on changing a few key aspects of your life, rather than change everything. Not many people, though, know how to change their life, improve the things or get rid of problems. The answer is life coaching.
However, not everyone knows what life coaching is and what a life coach does. A short answer is the following: Coaches work with clients who want a detached partner to help them enhance their lives, improve health or change careers.
Coaching is a modern and rapidly growing method for helping others to improve, develop, learn new skills, find personal success, set and achieve goals and manage life change and personal challenges. Life coaching is effective for all situations.
It is different to training. It draws out rather than puts in. It develops rather than imposes. It is non-judgemental and helps people to develop and grow in different areas like: personal; life-change; parenting; self-fulfilment; self-discovery; career; business; success; performance; health; diet; weight management and many other aspects.
So, how does that happen? Rather than actually TELLING someone the answers, a Life Coach helps clients to find the answers themselves. A coach reflects issues back to a client which helps defining strategies and tactics.
One famous Russian psychologist Doctor Kurpatov says, “We have great inner resources, but we have to know how to use them.” Life Coach helps you learn how to use your inner resources.
I can evaluate Life Coaching to the proof reading process. Say, a writer works on a book, he or she creates attractive characters, unusual situations, describes the beauty of the environment and nature, hooks up the reader with the sage events. The writer is like God she or he can do anything to the heroes, put them into a really complex situation or make them fall in love, win a opposition, run the races, be a financial mogul or a bankrupt, be healthy or sick, alive or dead. This is in writer’s power. But… and it happens quite often, while writing a book, an author can make mistakes, like: misspelling, omitting, can create some illogical steps for a nature or even lose a part of a sentence or a page. It happened to me.

This is the work of a proof reader to find all these errors and correct them. The proof reader reads the text and underlines the words or sentences where, as she thinks, the errors are. Also, she makes suggestions on how to correct them and returns the manuscript to the author. The proof reader cannot order or advise the author to correct the errors in a manner like, “You have to make it all right, dude, otherwise nobody will publish your book.” Although, it is true, it is only up to the author whether to make it all right or live it as it is or… chuck it all to the bin.
We all are writers, creators and gods of our own life stories. We create our destiny, fate and unique paths. We choose what to do next, we can rule, lead or let someone else lead us. We choose to be happy, healthy and well off or quite to the contrary. We can have changes and we choose which changes we want. And sometimes we need proof readers to show us the mistakes that have been done and can be corrected. Life Coaches do that. They do not advice or order to make the changes, they simply point out the things which can be corrected.
As time goes on, the coach helps you continually focus on your goals and keeps you on track until you reach them. This is where life coaching has an advantage over other personal development methods. Coaching is individual and continuing, so you get one to one, long term guidance and support.

However, the coach is not a counsellor or therapist but someone who gives you a different slant on things and helps you focus on your own solutions. As a result, they equip you with techniques that help you solve your problems long after coaching has stopped.