Staying Calm Under Pressure

Even at 7:30pm the night is hot.  That’s what happens when you go barbecuing somewhere in the South Pacific in the middle of summer.  You can almost taste the grilled chicken from the remnant fumes simmering off the grill.  Dinner is served!

The family gathers around the picnic table.  We take a deep breath and begin to eat.  In just the first bite, my father freezes, tries to swallow and let’s out a little gag.  We ask him what’s wrong, and he shakes his head not knowing.  One of us gives him a glass of water, and still, no change.  My father raises up his hand, excuses himself and says that he has to go to the emergency room.


Nick Vujicic Shows Us How to Get Up And Never Quit

Nick Vujicic was born with no arms and no legs.  He admits to us there were plenty of times when all he wanted to do was give up.  Nick didn’t understand the point to his life and therefore wanted to end it.  Thank goodness he’s alive because he’s shared his story with millions of people around the world, inspiring them to keep on going.

Just the other day, someone forwarded me an article about this young woman venting because everybody is a workaholic at her office.  She tells us how incredibly amazing it is that she gets in at 8am and works until 6:30pm everyday.  In other words, she’s asking for praise and sympathy for working normal hours.  The kicker?  She was unemployed for over half a year and just started this job!

Whenever I feel like complaining about how unfair life is, I stop and think about people like Nick who have it just a little bit harder.  Is he complaining?  No.  He is trying harder, and so shall I.  Perhaps so shall we all!  Let’s eradicate the sense of entitlement that lingers among everyone of us; some more than others.  We shall not whine about our jobs or complain why our love lives crumble.  Let’s take ownership of our own actions.  If you are a complainer, please go somewhere else!

Readers,  who inspires you to keep on going?


Sam @ Financial Samurai – “Slicing Through Money’s Mysteries”

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The Ripples OF Giving

The following is a guest post by newcomer Jeremy Johnson, a husband and father of two girls (a 2 1/2 year old and a newborn).  He recently created a website dedicated to helping people realize their dreams and ideas, make progress on them, and see them through to completion.  You can follow Jeremy on Twitter at @JeremyNJohnson.  Enjoy!

Have you ever wondered why some people give thousands or even millions of dollars to charities and other organizations for a good cause?  Why do some people spend hours on end selflessly parting with their finances and free time just to help other people?  Could it be for the tax breaks alone?

There’s a formula for wealth and happiness that confounds the grumpy and unfulfilled person.  It’s not that other people are just lucky and born happy.  It is that the ‘lucky’ and ‘born happy’ person has discovered one of life’s most simple, yet lucrative formulas for real wealth and happiness.

You’re probably wondering what the magic formula is by now. What could possibly give you wealth and happiness that overflows your financial and fulfillment coffers?  The formula is giving – giving of not only your finances, but of your time and talents, without expectation of reward.  Pure and selfless giving well beyond what you could ever expect to receive back is life’s magic formula for real wealth and happiness.

The effect of throwing a stone into any body of water is really fascinating. Even a small stone will hit the water and cause a ‘ripple’, that is it will cause the water around it to cascade outwards creating an area of effect far greater than the size of the stone that initially hit the water. And the bigger the stone used, the greater the ripple effect.

Methods of Giving

Samurai’s Alexa Ranking Challenge Update: Progress Through Adversity

It’s been just over a month since the Samurai Alexa Ranking Challenge was announced, and I’m pleased to report we’ve made tremendous progress!  With 35+ members strong, we are actively helping each other achieve our respective goals.  I’d like to use this opportunity to recognize several Yakezie members for their achievements and initiatives in helping the team.

* Daniel-San from Sweating The Big Stuff took the initiative to compile the list and keep track.  His efforts have in turn created a home for us members to visit once a week and get pumped.

* @Elle_CM from Couple Money has been amazingly selfless in retweeting my posts and many other posts.  She is exactly the type of member the Yakezie Group seeks.  @FinEngr created a Yakezie Twitter Group to keep track of us and follow.  Pls follow so the group can follow you back.

* Monevator, The Amateur Financier, Evolution Of Wealth created weekly wraps to specifically highlight posts from the Yakezie Group.  Meanwhile, Money Funk wrote a derivative post on how to increase your Alexa ranking.

* Eliminate The Muda and Planting Dollars have busted through their 200,000 goal and should obviously now shoot for top 100,000!


The Katana: Where Experiences Matters More Than Things

$1,780 is what it cost to book two last minute tickets to Lost Island.  I let the web page sit for a while, hesitant to click away a nice chunk of savings.  But what’s the use of money if it’s not spent?  We can save and save and save until we have some magical number we call “enough.”  Or, we can live for experiences that will last until our memories gray.

Why is it that some of us have spending paralysis over good times, but spend so easily on material things?  My fear was due to the impermanence of the experience, and the permanent loss of money.  That was some time ago when I had little savings.  It’s different now.  Memories are always what makes me smile the most.  It’s as if good memories blossom with time.

Readers, what are your thoughts on impulse spending for experiences?  Can spending on experiences be considered less imbecilic than spending on things?  If so, why should there be a difference?

The Samurai Fund: +2.1% YTD vs. -0.53 S&P 500.  I’m making room for a couple new picks to replace a couple existing picks due to inactivity and performance.  Shoot me an e-mail if interested and please read the guidelines first.

Yakezie Alexa Challenge: Stay tuned for a large update this Wed, Feb 24.  We’ll discuss what happens when the rules change on us, how to deal and flourish!  I will introduce a new initiative which should be able to help more members.  Keep on promoting others Yakezies!


Creating Powerful Friends: Samurai’s Alexa Ranking Challenge

There’s a fun hypothesis saying that you are the average of the closest five people around you.  I believe this to be true, do you?  What’s interesting about the blogosphere community is that anybody with enough intention can start a website.  Some are interesting, some are not, but regardless we can all compete with the ProBloggers and the Huffington Posts of the web in our own niche way!

Alexa is a dynamic website ranking and information company owned by Amazon, which has over 40 million users world wide.  The tool bar is free, and easy to download.  The Yakezie Alexa Ranking Challenge is straight forward.  If you’re outside of the top 200,000, get in the top 200,000 within 6 months.  I can’t even name 100 sites, let alone 199,999 sites.  Can you?  If you’re already in the top 200,000, get in the top 100,000.  And if you’re already in the top 100,000, get in the top 50,000.

There are some who poo poo the Alexa ranking system, and I recognize their two main arguments:  1) The system only tracks visitors who have the Alexa Toolbar installed, and 2) There are cases where some websites with bazillions of users have a worse ranking than sites with less users.  We don’t know why, because we don’t fully know what goes into the calculations.  It may be because readers don’t visit and just read off their RSS.  That said, the Alexa ranking system continues to grow, and is the best system we got.  At least 40 million webmasters around the world think so, and there has to be something to it if Google, Facebook, Yahoo and YouTube are ranked #1, #2, #3, and #4, respectively.

Since starting this site, I’ve been rejected as a guest poster, didn’t even get responded to, let alone make it as one of the 7 finalists for one site’s staff writer tryouts, denied admission to a personal finance blog network, and even got my first carnival submission rejected.  But through all the rejections, I took comfort in my friend, Alexa, who is always by my side motivating me to keep going.  I’m sure many of you have been rejected as well.  Here’s your chance to create our own network of powerful friends by joining in on the challenge!


An Ambulance Screams By, Do You Feel Happy Or Sad?

There was once a time I felt very sad every time an ambulance zoomed by with sirens blazing.  I knew someone was suffering, and sorrow would fill my heart not only for the injured, but also for the person’s family and friends.  Nothing is permanent, and the ambulance reminds me of this fact every time I hear one.

Over lunch, I was sharing my feelings with a friend, and she changed my mindset.  She mentioned, instead of feeling sad, feel happy. Be happy the ambulance is out there saving someone’s life.  Feel emboldened help is on its way!

My friend was right.  I chose to feel sad about an unchangeable past rather than focus on the good act of trying to make things better.  It was this simple epiphany 12 years ago that changed the way I looked at everything, forever.

Rather than sulk about those personal finances on life-support, why not change the way you see your outlook?  Instead, look at your massive debt, or your crummy income as an opportunity to recover.  The worse you are, the more upside you have!


Financial Samurai – “Slicing Through Money’s Mysteries”