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Amanda on blessings in disguise; Defining success; the power of words and honey money; working for love.

Following last week’s confessional blog, I decided this week (I have good intentions for once a week blogging now) to shower you with some link love.

Other bloggers will know well the virtues of link love. Outbound links to other writer’s good work offers some karma kickbacks. By generating traffic for others looking to build their readership, you in turn create some of your own. i.e. You follow me, I’ll follow you.
When I was writing my regular column for New Zealand’s top most read financial website interest.co.nz, we made this a regular habit. As a result, we had a really good SEO; search engine optimization. We beat almost all the other media. If you don’t believe me google my name.

My motives here aren’t self-serving. In fact, I don’t earn a cent from any of this. Call me crazy. The money writer who writes for free. Why am I doing it then? Because I would like to share with other like minded folk some of the informative, inspirational and juicy content that I come across on my regular trolls through cyberspace in the domain of finance and well-being. Why? Ultimately to encourage others to pursue their dreams.

I thought I’d follow the format of my old column as it worked quite well. Five links of a personal financial nature with some creative (some days more so than others) wordplay to keep you engaged about a subject most of you would rather avoid. If it proves popular (Word Press stats and Google analytics are brilliant), I’ll keep at it. If not, I’ll channel my energies and talents elsewhere.

So, here in no particular order are five great reads to get you thinking about what the heck your purpose here on earth is (my belief: to be happy and work for a greater good), how to realise your full potential, how to increase your income (yes money does matter hence the title of my book Money Matters), and how to get more engaged in your daily lives in a meaningful way.

1) Blessings in disguise

​Here’s a news flash; crappy things happen to good people who deserve better — ALL THE TIME! It happens to me at least twice a week. Okay, that’s probably not news to most of you but you might take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone. The more important point here about people who vex you, experiences that upset you, bosses you can’t stand, or not getting x, y, z when and how you want it is that actually these apparent frustrations and disappointments are usually blessings in disguise. It is not always ease to frame them as such or see how they can benefit you but when you step back, take a deep breathe (you can learn how to do this well in yoga), a broader perspective, readjust your thinking, you’ll begin to see how they are really opportunities for you to reassess, move in a new direction; find the path, person or job that was better suited for you and to experience real growth.

Maria Khalife from Om Times explains more here.

​2) Defining success

Over the years, more than I want to count, I’ve come to change my definition of success. I used to think it meant a fancy house, a flash car, lots of holidays and a budget to eat out whenever you didn’t feel like cooking. Eventually it dawned on me that a lot of people who have all that stuff aren’t particularly happy people. Now I tend to view success, broadly, as people who are happy with themselves and what they have, however modest or big. In the matters that count most, matters of the heart, they are rock solid. That said I believe success has an external face too. In this regard I would define it as doing something you love, doing it really well and also making a difference in other peoples’ lives. We’re here to work for the betterment of humanity and we all have a role to play.

On that note, here’s an interesting item I have been sharing on finding your inner wealth and harnessing your talents without spinning in circles. Good stuff here.

Inc. writer Laura Garnett interviews talks to author and serial entrepreneur David Kidder about true talent and making it work.

​3) The power of words

Whether I’m teaching a yoga class, or talking to a roomful of financial advisory types and policy makers about how they can get people to care more about their money, words are my currency.The words you choose, how you deliver them and the order of them is incredibly important if you hope to capture your audience’s attention and to hold it.

For those of you working with the public, or aspiring to one day, here’s five tips from Mika Salmi on the qualities of a great speech. If you don’t read it, a take away message is silence is golden. All hail the pregnant pause.

​4) Honey money

No, it’s not a cheap ploy to spike traffic and you’ll have to do your own research to validate the findings but new research published by the Institute for the Study for Labor in Bonn, Germany suggests that those employees having regular sex (four times a week) earn on average 5% higher wages. Maybe 5% isn’t significant enough to make this observation newsworthy. Far be it for me to say however it stands to reason, as per researchers’ efforts to explain why this is, that there’s a financial upside to having more fun in the bedroom. Why? It’s well known that sex helps to reduce stress. Carrying that thread, individuals who are less stressed are usually happier to be around (in the office or wherever else), and this sociability is a form of currency in and of itself that can produce good outcomes employment wise.

Print it off and leave it under your mate’s pillow or coffee cup in the morning.

Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch carries the details just in case you thought I dug this up from the Women’s Weekly.

​5) Do what you love

It’s been well forecast that due to strains on Government pensions and purse strings generally that folks are going to have to work well past retirement age (65 in NZ) to make ends meet in old age. That’s based on predictions the New Zealand Superannuation, in its current form, is unsustainable to meet the needs of a population expected to live longer than every before in human history.

Because politicians of the day are unlikely to do something about this any time soon (at the risk of turning off voters who dislike the idea of working till 67) there is good potential, unless you’ve been very good with your money, that you’ll be working for a longer time than you might expect.

Bad news? Only if you are working at a job that you dislike which is all the more reason to find something you are good at and which you enjoy. Discouraged? You shouldn’t be. Another thing that distinguishes “successful” people, is that many are doing what they do for the thrill and challenge and fun, and not for the money. As a consequence or because of this rather they are postponing retirement.

The Chicago Tribune backs this up here with an article about why wealthy folks are less likely to retire.
If you’ve enjoyed reading my blog and found some of the links useful, do me a favour and spread the link love by sending this out to some of your contacts to help me build traffic. Don’t worry. I won’t spam them, or advertise on their sites or try to do anything other than inform and entertain.

Thank you and do yoga!