Archive for the ‘Choice’ Category


How to Accept a Compliment

 

I can take criticisms but not compliments
– James Taylor
 

Someone compliments you for the outfit you are wearing or a job well done. Your typical response is:

a) “Thank you for noticing.”
b) “Oh it was nothing – anyone with a pulse could figure it out…”
c) “It wasn’t me it was….” (when it really WAS you)
d) “This old thing?”
e) to ignore the compliment and quickly change the subject
 

If you answered anything but “a”  AND want more money, it is time to exercise your receiving muscle. Accepting compliments not only exercises your receiving muscle but it also helps you stay more connected with your inherent goodness. When someone pays you a sincere compliment they are giving you a gift. If you reject the gift, you are robbing them of the opportunity to give and yourself of the opportunity to receive.

So how do you accept compliments?

If you doubt the sincerity or veracity of the person delivering the compliment, consider (just for the sake of this exercise) to suspend your judgement and pretend it is true. You are now ready to start the exercise.

Step 1 of How to Accept a Compliment

Breathe. Nice clean inhale. Feel it slide through your nostrils and travel to your lungs. Let the sweetness of the compliment fill your lungs and soak into the core of your being. Let it flow as the oxygenation process engages and allows that compliment to travel to every cell of your body until you are immersed in the experience and feel a spontaneous tug at the corners of your mouth that indicates the beginning of a smile.

Step 2 of How to Accept a Compliment

Smile. Let that smile grow unrestrained and unfettered. Beam your happiness at receiving the gift of a much appreciated compliment. Smile like you have never smiled before. Feel the stretch as your cheek muscles shift to take the smile even bigger. Feel your vocal cords warm up as they prepare to engage.

Step 3 of How to Accept a Compliment

You may be tempted to deflect or return the compliment. Resist that urge and allow yourself to voice the words, “Thank you for noticing.” and notice how the words slide off of your tongue with natural grace and ease. Traveling through the air to the ears of the person who has delivered the gift. Feel the reverberations of the words ring in your ears like the sweetest notes of a favorite song.

And that is how you accept a compliment. It is perfectly okay to do this EVERY time you receive a compliment. If you have concerns about an overdeveloped receiving muscle, you can exercise your giving muscle by delivering compliments to family, friends, co-workers, clients, or strangers. You need to keep a healthy balance of receiving and giving and when you feel out of alignment, you can exercise your way back into balance.

Can you receive compliments?

A handy guide to help you remember the three steps to receiving compliments

 

 

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5 Reasons to Use a Spending Diary

Have you ever used a spending diary?

Dear Spending Diary…

Reason #1 to use a spending diary

You have more month at the end of your money. Spending diaries are a tool to help you track your spending.

Reason #2 to use a spending diary

You have a high debt to income ratio. Studies show that when people pay with cash, they spend less on purchases then when they pay by credit card.  When you track your spending, you are forcing yourself to pay more attention to your spending habits.

Reason #3 to use a spending diary

You are an impulse shopper and find you are buying more than you need. If you write what you are thinking and feeling about your purchases, you can start to look for patterns. For example – you notice that when you shop hungry, you spend more at the grocery store. Once you notice the pattern, you can make different choices and avoid situations that trigger spending sprees.

Reason #4 to use a spending diary

You need to fine tune your budget or spending plan. A spending diary will give you clues about areas that you can cut or increase spending. If you are looking to increase savings, a spending diary focuses on tracking spending so you can spot savings opportunities.

Reason #5 to use a spending diary

You want to check that your spending habits align with your values. When your values and spending are in alignment, you feel better about our choices. For example if you value eating healthy and you are spending all of your food budget on fast food – then you begin to think about your habits and choices and strategize ways to bring your spending back into alignment with your values.

Your comments and questions are always welcome. Need help getting your own financial house in order? Schedule a complimentary session with Money Mentor Coach, Dedra Murchison for one-on-one coaching.

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Living in the Past Lane

Living in the past?

Are you living in the past, present or future?

 

Past performance is not indicative of future results…

This standard disclaimer applies to many investment vehicles. It typically does not apply to human behavior. We are creatures of habit and tend to do the same thing – even when it becomes painfully obvious that it is not working.

The past often provides clues about our present.  If we seek change, it is fruitful to spend a few moments sifting through the past. What were our financial circumstances growing up? Were we raised with an abundance or scarcity mindset? How was money talked about (if at all)? What are our beliefs about money? As children we adopt the belief system of our parental units or caregivers. These beliefs become part of our operating system when we grow up. Unless we look at our beliefs, we hold on to some ideas that are not consistent with our current reality. Those beliefs limit our future reality.  When we continue to believe that money does not grow on trees, we miss out on the opportunity to become an orchard owners or to enjoy the fruits of our labor.

There is a deep-seated fear in our culture about having limited financial resources. That fear paralyzes us and keeps us on the sidelines when we could take action.

A few years ago, I talked with someone who had $1,000,000 in idle cash. They were terrified of losing money. They had enough assets to cover their living expenses until age 100 and beyond. It was not about the money. It was this deep-seated fear about something that was not true at the present moment in time. We often blame money. Money is only a tool. Consider fear as a road sign alerting you to slow down and look at your beliefs.  Ask yourself – is this happening now or am I reacting to something from my past?

We cling to the old and familiar long after it quits serving us.  The road feels bumpy as you blaze new trails and create new habits. It often helps to have support as you travel along this brave new path.

Are you stuck in the past? Schedule your complimentary initial consult today!

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Is Happiness Expensive?

Happiness is Expensive

Is happiness really expensive?

This message has haunted me these last few days. I believe that UNhappiness is expensive. If you are unhappy and use money to chase happiness, it leads to more unhappiness. So you spend more money and the cycle repeats until you are broke or wake up and realize that something has to change.

Happiness is a choice. It is a decision we make. It has nothing to do with the amount of toys we have or the number of zeroes in our bank accounts. Every day we are bombarded with messages that feed this myth. We believe that if we buy that new shiny/pretty, we will be happy. Been there done that and believe me folks, it does not work.

I used to postpone my happiness. I would set goals and when I reached them, I felt hollow. So I set more goals. The more “successful” I became, the less happy I felt. I believed that more money was the answer. I finally decided to stop chasing happy. I gave up the illusion that more money or any other shiny/pretty would make me happy. I decided to be happy NOW.  I sat myself down an looked at my values. I examined my wants and needs and realized that some of my needs were frozen needs. I started thawing them out. At first, I had to fake happy. Then I started to notice that I was not faking it anymore. I was pleasantly surprised at how much peace came with that decision.

There were a few things that helped me along this path and I wanted to share them with you.

1. Turn off the television.

I went hardcore and got rid of mine completely. You may want to start with going a day, week or month without television. Notice what happens and how you spend your time. This gives you some space from marketing messages.

2. Connect with like-minded happy people.

They say birds of a feather flock together. Notice the people around you. Are they always complaining or are they positive people? How do you contribute? Can you decide to be happy together? We cannot control others, however we can make choices about how we spend our time. Do you need to expand your circle and find new friends? Be kind and compassionate with yourself and others as you work this out.

3. Learn to distinguish between wants, needs and frozen needs.

As humans, we all  have basic needs – food, clothing and shelter. We also have emotional needs. Some of our needs were not met as children and so those needs are frozen in time. We can never go back and change the fact that there was a lack. If we try to fill those needs in the present time, we find that we are never satisfied.  Ask yourself what you are hoping to accomplish with a particular want or need. What expectations do you have and are they being met? Are your expectations realistic? Are they based on old hurts? Journaling is a great tool to start sorting this out. If appropriate, seek professional help and guidance if you decide that you do not want to work on this alone.

If you find yourself caught in the spiral of using money to chase happiness, I invite you to sign up for my blog updates and to stay tuned for more tips and suggestions on this topic and others.

 

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Celebrating Labor Day

Shopping

Celebrating the American worker

This Labor Day I am reflecting on the social and economic achievements of American workers. Do I celebrate by working or taking the day off? Do I go shopping and take advantage of all the sales or do I stay home and resist the urge to spend to save? Spend or save – what is the right choice?

 

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Are you paying yourself first?

 

Safety rule #1

Ever been on an airplane? My favorite part is when the plane takes off – those rocky moments as the plane begins its ascent. My second favorite part is the safety spiel. The reminder that there are “exits here, here and here…” There is also the part about what to do in case the oxygen mask deploys. We are reminded to don our masks before attempting to help others. It is good to know that I have choices and that it is okay to take care of myself first – so I can help others.

This concept applies to our finances as well. We have choices and we MUST take care of ourselves first. This means paying ourselves first. The earlier we develop that habit, the easier it becomes. If you are just getting started it may seem like you do not have enough – this is an illusion. I know it seems counterintuitive. However, when you think about it – if not today, when? Tomorrow? Why put it off? If you started today and saved $1.00 a day, in one week you would have $7.00. In 30 days you would have $30. 00. After a year you would have $365.00 and a savings habit. Chump change? How about $3,652.00?  That is what you would have in 10 years. If you had saved $20.00 a day, you would have $73,040 in 10 years. That is without interest or compounding. What could you do with that? What could you do without in order to accumulate that?

Every day we make choices about what to do with our money. Many of these choices we make on auto pilot. We do what we have always done and wonder why there is more month at the end of our money. Why not try something different?

If you find yourself stuck – ask yourself this question, “If I believed this were possible, what could I do?” Then get quiet. The answer will come to you. Be patient. It may take some time. Rome was not built in one day. In the meantime, remember to pay yourself first. What could YOU do?

 

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