Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Credit Cards and Young People

 Credit Cards and Young People

According to a report from Credit Counseling and Debt Management Agency of Bank Negara Malaysia or The Central Bank of Malaysia, among the card holders below the age of 30, 50% of them are unable to settle their credit card debt and they have to declare bankruptcy. In the survey, among the delinquent card holders, 22% cannot properly manage their personal finance and another 27% cannot control the use of their credit cards.

What can young people, especially fresh graduate, do to manage their personal finance? Here are some useful tips

Pay in cash: You will not get into debt when you pay in cash for all your purchases. Your spending is limited by your financial resources.

Use prepaid card or debit issued by Visa or MasterCard: For a start young people should use prepaid card (it is preloaded with a sum of money and you use it like a credit card until the amount stored in the card is exhausted). You can also use a debit card and it is linked to your bank account. Like a credit card you can charge your purchases to your card up to the maximum amount of your available fund in your bank account. You will gain credit card experience this way.

Credit card: When you are using a credit card for the first time, remember to treat it like cash. For each Ringgit you charge to the card back it up with cash for the same amount to meet payment at the end of the month. Do not opt for minimum payment. You will not only incur interest but at the same time it is the route leading to unmanageable debt and eventually bankruptcy. Use the card for convenient only. Don’t buy in credit to attract interest and debt.

Impulsive spending: Do not show off your credit card by entertaining your friends lavishly with it. Do not buy what you want but use the card to spend according to your monthly budget. In this way you stay out of debt. Getting into debt is easy but getting out of it is very difficult. Spend only your own money but not the bank’s money. Nothing is free in this world.

You can keep your credit cards but you have to spend within your monthly earnings and treat your cards like cash in your pocket or in your bank accounts. Settle the credit card bills promptly and fully to build your credit worthiness.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Have you Done Your SWOT Analysis?

SWOT is not only a useful business tool it is also a good personal management tool. It is about strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. How do you go about identifying and analyzing your SWOT? Let us take a closer look at each one:

Strengths: These are your expertise, talents, capabilities and things that you are good at. It is also an asset when your EQ is high. What about your language skills? Are you good at more than one language? Find out more about your strengths and capitalize on them. In other words, put your best foot forward, show the best in you.

Weaknesses: Nobody is perfect. Recognize your shortcomings and take steps to minimize the impact. Are you disorganized and unable to deliver on time? Are you always in a rush? Perhaps you need to brush up your time management skills.

Opportunities: When you are young the world is in your hands. Opportunities are aplenty. The most important thing is to match your strengths with the right opportunity. Your strengths are those things that you are good at and you are passionate about. Get hold of something that is of interest to you.

Threats: As an example, age is a threat to older working adults. How do you overcome this problem so that you are not out of job at the wrong time? Networking is the answer. Be in constant touch with your circle of influence. These are the people who know you and they know what you are good at and they do not mind about your age. They are willing to take you on when you need their help. Be alert to changing conditions which may be affecting you adversely.

The most important thing to do is to sharpen your competitive skills and reduce the impact of your weaknesses.

Monday, March 29, 2010

10 Instant Tips for Self Improvement

Self improvement

The following tips, when implemented, will give you instant improvement in life:

1. A creative habit: Always tell yourself that there must be a better way of getting things done. A better way of doing a thing means less time is required to do the same job. This is one sure way of improving yourself,

2. Do it now: As soon as you have decided to do something, act right away. Acting at the wrong time means an opportunity is lost. When you do not have the habit to act promptly, you procrastinate and may not do it at all.

3. Not afraid to ask for it: In order to get what you want out of life, you need to ask for it. People are busy and they do not know what you want. It is even necessary to ask and seek clarification for things that you do not understand. This is the only way to learn

4. Do your SWOT analysis: Find out your strengths and see how you can fortify further. Identify your weaknesses and make an effort to reduce your shortcomings. Be on the look-out for opportunities and be alert to threats and take preventive measure to mitigate the impact.

5. Set written and meaningful goals: When you set goals, you map out your journey in life. You know precisely where you are heading. You monitor your progress and you look forward to reach your destination wholeheartedly. Without a goal, you drift aimlessly and meaninglessly in life.

6. Do daily to-do list: It is a useful habit and a useful tool. Plan your work in advance by prioritizing your tasks for the day and work your plan by doing the most important tasks. Doing things accordingly will ensure a smooth day. You avoid a stressful situation as a result of an emergency.

7. Effective use of time: Time management is about occupying the available time with meaningful activities. Such activities are goal driven. They include work, play and rest for a balanced life.

8. Be open-minded: Be receptive to new ideas, new trends and latest developments. Change is the keyword. Keep up with the time and be alert to things that may affect you.

9. A positive mental attitude: Be cheerful, feel energetic and think of happy thoughts. Positive emotions lead to positive mental attitude. A positive outlook in life will allow you to look at things on the bright side, be confident of yourself and you expect the best to happen.

10. Health for happiness: Health and happiness are closely related. There is no true health without happiness. When you are in good health it means your mind is fresh, you are focus and mindful at work. You are happy when you are in good health because you are zestful and you feel good about yourself.

Life is about making improvement for a brighter and happier future

Saturday, March 27, 2010

CEO of Your Company

Customers, employees and owners
Do you know the CEO of your establishment? He is not the guy who is at the top of your organization chart. They are your:

• Customers
• Employees
• Owmers


They are the life and soul of your business. Without them they will be no income to meet employees’ payroll expenses and all other expenses. Customers are to be wooed and employees must be sensitive to their needs. Customers are hard to come by and it is necessary to offer the best customer services to retain them, so that they will keep coming back to you.


Employees are to be motivated to do their best. They are the front line staff who are in constant contact with customers. When they are interested in their job they will go all out to serve the needs of the customers. Front line staff should be empowered to cater to the needs of customers so that in case of complaints and unhappiness, an issue can be resolved quickly and to the satisfaction of the customers.


They are the ones who invested a large sum of money to set up a business venture. They offer job opportunities and a career path for those who are interested to take up challenging jobs. They expect their business to be fruitful and is able to generate good earnings year after year.


As one of the top executives you are squeezed between the CEO. You have to ensure that there is a healthy growth in the business. You also need to boost the morale of the staff and at the same time you must be able to report a favorable bottom line to the owners.

It is interesting and vitally important to note that customers, employees and owners are closely connected. When you take good care of the employees, they will, in turn, look after the customers well. More and more satisfied customers will come back to you for more business. You, in turn, will be able to show a positive performance to the owners. Everyone is happy.

Friday, March 26, 2010

How to Get Things Done at the Workplace

Getting things done

It is a very wise move to always do advance planning before getting things done.

An organized work flow means tasks are carried out orderly and smoothly to achieve the highest production. Examine the following to see how you can get things done efficiently and effectively.

Organize: To organize is to simplify the work. Look at the big picture and see how work gets done through people and equipment with available time. Do away with unnecessary procedures and paperwork to avoid wasting valuable time. Install simple procedures for others to follow and boost productivity.

Plan: A plan is like a road map, it is to be followed. When you plan ahead, you set goals and performance standards. As you progress you monitor and review the situation regularly. Congratulate yourself when work is done according to schedule.

Schedules and deadlines: Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion. The more time is given to do a job, the longer it takes for a job to be completed .So, it is important to schedule the work and give deadline for each and every task.

Prioritize – the order of the day: To prioritize is to do first things first. Make it a point to prepare a to-do list in the evening for the following day those tasks to take care – in order of priority. Keep the list in view and do not allow small issues to sidetrack your focus.

The aim of time management is to have enough time to do what you have to do in an orderly manner to get the desired results. Productivity is what you get when you organize, plan, schedule and prioritize your work.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Success – Go Beyond Your Comfort Zone

Comfort Zone

To be successful in life you need to take risks so that you can change the present situation for the better. When you are afraid of failure and you don’t take action, there goes the saying nothing ventured nothing gained

How do you go about taking risks to increase your chances of success? Consider the following:

Clear objective

Focus on your main objective and identify those risks that your have to take and those you can avoid. The clearer your objective the easier it is to identify those risks related to it. When you are holding a well-paid job and you have got a good offer from another company, ask yourself,” Shall I move on or remain at the same place?”

How much risk can you shoulder?

Are you able to absorb the risks involved? Are the returns greater than the risks taken? If the risks are just temporary setback, by all means try. Failure is the pathway to achieve success. As an example, can you give up your cushy job and pursue further education full-time?

Gather information

The more knowledgeable you are the better are your chances of success. Read widely, do research and refer experts about the subject. Seek their views so that you can make a wise decision.

Decide and act

You just can’t keep evaluating the situation. A decision has to be taken and act accordingly. You have to go all the way to reach your objective with the risks involved. Don’t worry and don’t complain along the way. Just tell yourself that it is to gain a breakthrough for a much better future.

Post- mortem

Taking risk does not guarantee success. At least a valuable lesson is learnt so that you can avoid the same mistakes in future. The thing is that you have to keep trying. Failure is not doomed but giving up is

Develop a spirit of going beyond your comfort zone. Be brave to challenge yourself and try new things to attain greater success.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

10 Ways to Combat Stress


There are many ways to deal with stress. First of all, when it is within your control, you can create a stress-free situation. For external negative stimulants it is important how you react to it. Response with a positive mindset will reduce the impact of the pressure. Lastly, it is also equally important to unwind and to neutralize the negative effect of a stressful day at work.

1. Do less: There is a limit in what you can do in a day. Just do and complete the most important tasks will ease the burden in your mind. The most important thing is not to cram your work without breathing space between each task.

2. Take your time: As you have already scheduled your day, go slow to do one thing at a time. Take breaks as you go along.

3. A time to be alone and do nothing: Allocate a time to be in solitude. This is the best time for you to relax, meditate and to unwind. Imagine and visualize in your mind a quiet and peaceful place such as the beach or the countryside so that you can create calmness and serenity in your mind

4. Response positively to negative stimulants: The most important thing is not to allow negative events to create stress on you. A positive attitude is the key element of stress management.

5. Exercise: It is one of the best ways to fight stress. During exercise, your heart beats faster and you perspire and sweat. You will get a feeling of well-being after 30 minutes of, say, jogging.

6. Sleep well: When you do not get enough sleep you will feel groggy and unable to function at your peak. You can be stressed out easily.

7. Organize for a smooth and orderly day. This is within your control. Plan and schedule a smooth day to avoid emergency situation which creates tension.

8. Mindfulness: Having too many things in your mind distracts your attention and creates a stressful situation. Clear the clutter in your mind and pay attention to the task at hand facilitate doing your work smoothly and easily.

9. Think of more efficient ways to get things done in less time: Getting things done in less times means more time at your disposal. It is a good habit to examine each task to see how you can do it in less time

10. A conducive working environment: Are you able to work peacefully and quietly? A noisy surrounding with dimmed or glaring lights will contribute to stress. Create a working condition that works for you.

Handle stress effectively and lead a healthy and happy life.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

7 Tips for Personal Innovation and Creativity

 Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things. - Theodore Levitt

Just as I have taken delivery of my new Persona, Proton has come up with their latest version officially known as Proton Persona Elegance. It has done a facelift to the existing model with extra features. I realize that marketing is about innovation and creativity in order to attract more customers and sustain their market leadership.

According to David Neeleman, founder of JetBlue, “Innovation is trying to figure out a way to do something better than it’s ever been done before.” It echoes well with Thomas Edison’s mantra of “There’s a way to do it better-find it.”

How can you be innovative and creative? Here are the top tips:

1. Creative mindset: Every time when you do something always ask yourself, “How can I do it better?” You get new ideas to do things more efficiently and effectively.

2. Learning: Open your mind to new ideas and developments. You need to learn from others in order to be creative.

3. Out of comfort zone: Don’t be too comfortable with your present situation. Always challenge yourself to make further improvement.

4. Kaizen: This is the Japanese way of saying continuous improvement. This motto serves them well. Japan is the market leader in many things especially electronic products and motor vehicles (getting them into trouble as well). You can learn a lot from the Japanese.

5. Make it simple: Making improvement is making it simple and not more complicated. When it is simple, it is easy to work and faster to get things done.

6. Inquisitive: Are you very interested in learning about many different things? It is one sure way to be creative and innovative.

7. Curiosity: Have you got a strong desire to know about something and get to the bottom of it? Be alert and sensitive to the things that are taking place around you.

Be innovative and creative for a better life tomorrow

Monday, March 22, 2010

Happiness – Get Rid of 7 Things in Your Mind

All About Living with Life

Recently I booked a new car and I was hoping to get it in time to celebrate Chinese New Year in Singapore with my sister and her family. However, I could not take delivery of the new car for my trip. Instead I drove my old faithful that I had been using close to 15 years. It did not dampen my spirits without the new car. I was happy and I enjoyed the trip thoroughly. I exchanged my old vehicle for the new one only after coming back from my trip to Singapore. The day I took possession of the new car I was neither excited nor happier. It was just another day for me.

How do you stay happy? It is all in your mind, just get rid of the following 7 things:

1. Past memories: Are you always haunted by the thoughts of the past and keep yourself from others and living in regrets? You cannot change the humiliation, failure and setback of the past. Living in regrets of the past will rob you of your happiness and energy now. Erase the past memories from your mind and replace them with successful events.

2. Greed: These people are not happy with what they have. They want more and they want the latest and the best. There is no way that they can satisfy with themselves because manufacturers are churning our new products every now and then. Be happy with what you have

3. Unforgiving: Are you always angry, resentful and in bitterness. Don’t fill your mind with vengeance as it hurts nobody but you. Forgive and forget and let your mind be peaceful and calm

4. Live on the approval of others: Do you worry about how others feel about you? Are you only happy when others are pleased with you? Be yourself. Live the way you want to be as long as you are happy. In fact nobody is concerned about you, other People have too much problems themselves to worry about.

5. Pessimism: Can you be happy if you keep telling yourself,” I can’t, it’s not possible. I will not get it and I will fail.” See the bright side of things and do your very best and do not think much of the outcome.

6. Worries: Instead of living in regrets of the past you worry about the future. Will I be able to keep my job? Can my son make it to the university? Can I be happy when I retire in 5 years time? Do I have enough money to live in my golden years?

7. Negative emotions: Feel good and be lively about yourself. Do not let the feeling of inertia to rob you of your vitality. Replace negative feelings with positive thoughts. Feel alive and live every day happily

Happiness is enjoying and making the best out of what you have, living in the moment and doing the very best you can and not thinking too much of the future. The future is the outcome of the effort that you have put in today. Be yourself, be happy, live and let live.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

7 Tips to Bring out the Best in Your Employees

According to Alan Loy McGinnis,”Helping other people grow can become life’s great joy.” How do you motivate and bring out the best in your employees? Here are the 7 tips:

1. Choose the right person: John Lubbock says,” It is more important to choose well those who are to work with you, and under you: to put the square man in the square hole and the round man in the round hole.” Get to know your people well, Find out their strengths and weaknesses and get the right person for the job.

2. First impression: While you are looking closely at the new employee, the new employee is also evaluating the company. Do a proper orientation to introduce the new guy to the establishment. Among other things let him know how he fits into the company, his duties and responsibilities and the kind of training to be provided

3. Challenges and participation: The true job satisfaction is in the job itself. Making sure that assignments are able to utilize their talents and skills. Involve them in projects which are important to the company so that they can feel a real sense of achievement.

4. Skill training: Training is good for the company and the employee.
Training promotes productivity and allows the staff to move ahead and get promoted with better skills.

5. Morale: Treat the staff fairly and equally to promote teamwork; do not play favoritism. Keep the workers posted and communicate with them clearly, fully and honestly. Priority should be given to safety , security and a conducive working conditions at the workplace

6. Better relationships: Offer praise and appreciation and not threat and harsh words. Workers are motivated with kind words and not by intimidation.

7. Customers-conscious: Treat the workers well so that they will in turn treat the customers with care and respect. In order for a company to survive we have to satisfy the needs of our customers. It is important for the workers to be customer-minded.

You bring out the best in them and they will do their best for you.

Friday, March 19, 2010

10 Positive Attitudes at the Workplace

10 Positive Attitudes at the Workplace

Your success at the workplace does not just depend on your qualifications and your technical skills. It is your ability and your effort in getting things done. Most important of all it is your attitude towards your work and other people

1. Be creative: Identify and develop better ways of doing things, break away from the norm.

2. Be optimistic: When you are out of work, do not give up. Renew your skills and be on the lookout for new opportunities.

3. Get out of the comfort zone: Be ambitious and strive for better results. Don’t rest on your laurels.

4. Proactive: Know what you want out of life and focus on doing the essentials. Find ways to simplify your work and do less to achieve more.

5. Do better than expected: Go the extra mile to deliver more than what is expected of you by your boss.

6. Appreciate yourself and others: Think highly of yourself and value your talents and capabilities. At the same time take note and appreciate the best of others and recognize what they have contributed.

7. Compliment and not complain and criticize: Do not pour cold water, say kind words to motivate others and give them hope.

8. Give: Give to others confidence, warmness, consolation and happiness. Ask yourself,” Have I given today?” It is a great way to promote relationships.

9. Show your best: You have to put your best foot forward and be noticed. People are not obligated to take note of you; it is up to you to market yourself. If you hide in a corner how are you going to show what you are capable of and realize your ambition?

10. Follow your interest and passion: Follow your heart. Do things that you are interested and passionate about. When you show your best, you allow others to notice you easily.

A person’s attitude determines his altitude.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

15 Daily Healthy Habits

15 Daily Healthy Habits

1. Talk to family members at home: Talk about the happenings of the day and share your happines and sadness with your spouse. When you open your heart to each other you get closer to each other and that’s love.

2. Sleep well: Can you sleep well at night? One of the health benefit is a good night’s sleep. The next day you will feel fresh and full of energy to welcome another day.

3. Recreation: What are your hobbies? After a hard day’s work you need to entertain yourself and relax. Listening to music, playing a musical instrument and gardening are some of the ways to refresh. and lighten up

4. 30-minute exercise: Do what you enjoy physically every day. You can enjoy good health just by walking around. Do it daily to be fit and happy.

5. Have your breakfast: Breakfast provides the necessary fuel for your brain. A nutritious breakfast will sharpen your thinking process and promote working efficiency. You get better memory and less likely to get obese.

6. More vegetables and fruits: More vegetables and fruits mean less chances of getting caner and heart problems. These are also wonderful snack food

7. Don’t watch TV while having your meals: Switch off the TV and enjoy the food. You are more likely to get fat when you eat and watch TV at the same time.

8. Bring nature to your home: Listen to the rhythm of the falling rain, watch the fish swimming in the pond and appreciate the lively plants in your garden. Let nature brings you calmness and serenity. Remember to put some plants in your office. Greenery will promote happiness in you. .

9. A simple and regularized living: Follow your biological clock; go to bed by 11 and wake up at around 6. Follow a routine that is beneficial to your health. A simple life is a balanced life without upsetting your biological clock.

10. Take a nap: It is a way to restore your energy. A short nap during high noon will boost your working effectiveness.

11. Keep a journal: Daily writing releases your inner feelings, reduces your suffering and promotes your immune system and not to mention that you are able to express yourself more effectively over time.

12. Religious belief: Do you find forgiveness, spiritual support, and love in your religious beliefs? I believe you do. How about meditation? Mindful meditation relieves stress and results in a state of relaxation. Religion and meditation are related. As an example, Hinduism promotes yoga and meditation.

13. Drink green tea: Among many other health benefits, green tea contains powerful anti-oxidant which inhibits the growth of cancer cells. Enjoy a cup of warm green tea every day.

14. Keep on learning: Be curious and be interested to learn new things. Maintain a daily reading habit. Keep your mind active and be smart

15. Organized activities: Know what to expect and go through each day smoothly. You will avoid undue stress and pressure to meet emergency situations

Share your healthy daily habits with the readers.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Mind your Manners

Vacate your seat to the pregnant lady

We are all civilized people living in a civilized world. But are we all good at out manners?

Check out the following:

In the toilet

• Do you flush after the job is done? Perhaps the next person is doing the flushing for you.

• How do you do the job? Do you often notice shoe marks on the toilet cover?

• After the job you wash your hands, instead of using the dryer you throw and shake your hands vigorously and the water droplets are everywhere.

At the lift

• When the door is open, instead of waiting for the people to come out you rush in.

• You are the first person to get in, do you keep pressing the open button so that other people can go in as well? When the door is open do you let handicapped people to leave first?

In the cinema

• Are you always late and disturb the viewing pleasure of other audiences?

• Do you switch off your mobile phone?

• Do you talk and announce the next scene to your friend? It is annoying to others and killing the fun of watching a movie.

At the bus stop

• Let passengers get down first before you get on the bus

• Do you vacate your seat to a senior citizen or a pregnant lady? Don’t pretend that you are asleep.

On the mobile phone

• In public areas talk softly

• In the office reduce the volume of the ringing tone or use vibration. Try to talk in a low voice.

Opening doors

• It does not matter which way the door swings let those inside the building come out first before you go in. Hold the door for the person behind you. When the door can swing either way, open the door to your side so that you are not hitting someone from inside.


• Follow the queue and don’t stand too close to the person in front of you. Respect others and talk softly


• Give sufficient time to signal that you are turning left or right and don’t do it only when you are cornering.


• While you are smoking don’t blow the smoke at people who do not smoke; and don’t throw cigarettes butts everywhere.

On a raining day

• Be careful with your umbrella so that you don’t hit the people around you with it.


• Do not allow your children to run around and making loud noise. Consider other people in public areas.

Can you add more to this list?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Lesson from Twitter – How to Get Others Interested in You

Research shows that the most popular tweeters are those who rarely speak about themselves. In a study undertaken by Dan Zarrella, a social media analyst and consultant based in Boston, he found that the most self-referential Twitter users tended to have the fewest followers. Conversely, people who used more inclusive language tended to have more followers. His research has led him to believe online social networking only comes naturally to those who are truly social in real life.

How do you get others interested in you? The answer is really simple. Take the reverse approach. You only need to ask yourself, “How do I get interested in others?”

1. Pay attention to the other person: Find out more about the family members and their interests, hobbies and their way of life. The more you know the more you can talk about things that are of interest to them,

2. Get in touch: Call up your friend and find out how he or she is doing. Send a short email and include a motivating quote to cheer up the other person. Visit your friend and take along a small gift.

3. Praise and compliment: When you see the house is clean and tidy praise her for doing an excellent housekeeping job. Compliment her child for getting good grade in school.

4. Offer help: Because you know a lot about the other person, find out his or her needs and see how you can help. People usually do not ask for help as they are fear of rejection. Your proactive action will be much appreciated.

5. Gesture of goodwill: When your wife bakes a cake, share with your neighbor. When you are at the supermarket perhaps you would like to buy an extra comb of bananas for your friend.

6. Be friendly: Talk to people you meet, make it very casual and be polite. People are happy to be acknowledged.

7. Constructive criticism: Friendship is about care and concern. Talk to your friend in a diplomatic way when you see a situation which needs to be rectified or improved.

The more you are interested in other people the more they will notice it and in turn they will pay attention to you as well.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Effective Delegation

One of the most useful ways to manage time is to delegate. Delegation is beneficial. People like to show off their talents and be given a sense of participation and delegation fits the bill.

How do you go about delegating effectively? Take the following steps:

Select the right person for the job: Trust the person to be capable of doing the job, perhaps not as well as you do initially. Over time he or she will be able to do better. If you do not trust others to do the job, how much can you do in a day without getting yourself overworked and be stressful?

The process: Tell the person what is expected of him or her, what needs to be done and why it is important and when it should be completed. Allow the individual some leeway about how it should be done. The secret is to allow the worker to take initiative to get the job done. It develops a sense of ownership, pride confidence and achievement in the worker. By telling the worker exactly how it should be done will rob of the excitement of doing the job.

Follow up: Be sure to check from time to time to see that things are done accordingly. Arrest a problem early before it is too late.

Appreciation: Praise the worker for doing the job right. The worker will feel that his work is being appreciated and he or she is motivated to take on more assignments.

Many of the workers in an organization are capable people and they are creative. Bring out the best in them by delegating meaningful and challenging jobs. The best part is that when you delegate you have more time to yourself.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Wealth and Financial Freedom


What is the worth of your wealth? You have to add up the value of your properties, cars,

investments, your share of business interests, the cash value of your insurance policies

and your various bank accounts. What do your get? Assuming it is worth10 million, do

you think it is the value of your wealth? It is not. You have to deduct all the borrowings

such as property loans, credit card outstanding sum, car loans and other loans. Perhaps

the figure comes to around 4 million. Your actual wealth or rather your net worth is only

6 million. I usually calculate my net worth on December 31.

Financial Freedom

When you enjoy financial freedom, it means your wealth is able to support you needs and wants. Let’s take the above figure as an example. When you need 5 million to achieve financial freedom and you have only 4 million worth of wealth. You are short of 1 million to enjoy your financial freedom. However when you need only 3 million to be financially independence your wealth is more than enough to support your lifestyle. This is a very rough example without considering inflation, future earnings and fluctuation in the value of your investments.

Wealth and financial freedom

Your wealth does not necessary give you financial freedom and your financial freedom may not be supported by your wealth. Your needs and wants decide the size of your wealth to give you the financial freedom.

Getting financial freedom from your wealth

You have two options to enjoy financial freedom. One way is to increase your wealth to match your needs and wants. Another way is to limit what you want out of life to match the worth of your wealth.

Financial freedom or wealth

In life we aim to go after financial freedom rather than wealth. You need to take bigger risks to create greater wealth. You may or may not succeed. Here we are talking about wealth lasting for several generations. On the other hand, financial freedom is within your control, you can live lavishly or frugally. It’s up to you.

Friday, March 12, 2010

10 Tips to Have More Energy

Energizing Drink

How do you feel every day? Do you lie in bed and refuse to get up? Do you struggle to get by each day? Is your energy ebbing away? How do you kick start a day and live life fully each day and every day? Here are ways to boost your energy to bring you vim, verve and pep.

1. Eat your breakfast: To start a new day after fasting for one whole night, you need to restore your blood sugar by eating your breakfast. Breakfast boosts your energy and brainpower and allows you to function at maximum capacity.

2. Physically active: Doing exercise every day is the best way to energize your body. The less active you are, the lazier you will get. You will feel a surge of power when you jog, cycle or swim.

3. Sleep early and wake up early: Don’t burn the candle at both ends. There is a time to work hard and there is a time to rest and charge your battery. About 8 hours of sleep is what you need to restore you energy at its peak. Follow your biological clock and go to bed before 12 and get up early to start a new day gracefully.

4. Positive emotions: How do you choose to feel now? Feeling tired, exhausted and down? Replace your feelings with alertness, cheerfulness and confidence. Your emotions play an important role in shaping your energy levels.

5. Do less to achieve more and avoid pressure: Don’t cram too much work in a day. The key is to do one or two important tasks for the day and leave the rest to another day. Do not apply unnecessary stress to yourself.

6. Relax: Are you able to unwind? After a hard day’s work you must be able to change you mood and take it easy. Listen to music, take up yoga or Tai Chi. These are great ways to relax you mind and body.

7. Take breaks: You can’t work non-stop to maintain your energy levels. Take frequent breaks to clear clutter in you mind. Have a cup of coffee and chat with your co-workers to refresh your mind

8. Plan ahead for each day: Know what is expected of you will help you go through a day in a smooth and stress-free way. There will be no emergency situation to zap your energy.

9. Drink water: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your body hydrated and maintain your peak performance.

10. You and your job: Are you interested in your job? Do you find your work interesting? The more passionate you are in your work the more energy you are able to generate. Get into the flow of things. According to Wikipedia Flow is the mental state of operation in which a person is fully immersed in what he or she is doing by a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity.

Do the right things to be energetic every day.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Happiness, Health and Positive Emotions

Happiness, Health and Positive Emotions

You can’t separate happiness from health; they go hand in hand.

When you are in good health, your mind is fresh and you are full of energy. You are ready to take on a new day with zest and confidence. How do you feel? I am sure you feel great and you are happy. Happiness strengthens your immune system.

When you are depressed your immune system is weakened to attract disease. Furthermore negative emotions like anger, anxiety and sadness contribute to chronic stress.

Positive psychology has identified several positive emotions that can promote emotional resilience, health and happiness. Here are some of the positive emotions that contribute to your health and happiness:

Gratitude: Develop an appreciation of your talents and capabilities. Be thankful to those who support you consistently in life. Be grateful that you get what you want and happy to enjoy what you have.

Optimism: One study found that optimists had a 19% longer life span on average. It shows that happiness and health are connected with optimism. The thing to do is that when you wake up each day tell yourself it is going to be another great day and you look towards the future with high hope and great expectation.

Flow: Enjoy doing what you are doing without realizing the passing of time because you are engaged and absorbed in fulfilling activities

Mindfulness: Apart from enjoying what you are doing in the moment you do not dwell too much on past regrets or worry too much about the future. You focus on the preset moment because you know it is the only time that you can do the best you possibly can.

Serenity: Find solace in peace and calmness. Set free your mind from clutter and allow your body to be in total relaxation. Enjoy such precious moments from time to time.

Robert Holden, a happiness researcher, says,” There is no true health without happiness.”

Let positive emotions bring you more health and happiness.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

7 C’s in Relationships at the Workplace

The best thing to happen at the workplace is to get along well with everyone. You gain the respect of others and they are pleased to approach you to seek your advice. Your boss is delighted to have you as a valuable member in the team. What are the things to look for in order to maintain harmony at the workplace? Check out the following 7 C’s for a better relationship with others.

1. Communicate: You need to express, verbally and in writing, your ideas precisely, clearly and fully. You also need to listen carefully and attentively to understand fully and clearly to avoid misunderstanding.

2. Conflict resolution: Identify the problem without blaming others. It is the courage to say sorry when you have done something wrong that you gain the respect of others. It is also equally important for you to forgive and make up in order to carry on the cordial relationship with others.

3. Care and concern: According to Dale Carnegie you can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get the other person interested in you. Get to know your colleagues better by talking to them. Find out more about their interests or something in common to share. People are happy with your outgoing attitude and they are pleased to be with you.

4. Collaborate and cooperate: The key idea is to synergize. Work closely with other people and tap into their strengths. Working hand in hand with others means you are able to gain mutual benefits.

5. Connect: Create a first impression that is friendly and approachable. Display cheerfulness and be interested in the other person who you are talking to. Make an effort to know more about his or her background and family.

6. Cultivate: Nurture and cement the relationship of the people at the workplace. Honor your promises to sustain your credibility. Gain trust and respect and build rapport with others. It means you must deliver the first time and every time

7. Conciliate: Be sincere and likeable in your approach so that your can win the support and obtain the goodwill and friendship of your co-workers. Develop the ability to calm the anger of the other person and win him or her over to your side in a difficult situation.

You may possess excellent technical skills but if you are poor in people skills how are you going to get things done through and with others? At the workplace it is about teamwork, cooperation and communication.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Secrets of Lasting Happiness

According to Andrew Matthews, the author of Happiness in Hard Time,” Happiness is not an accident. It is much more a daily decision. Every day you get up and say,’ Just for this next 24 hours I want to be happy.’ Some days will be better than others but with practice, happiness becomes more of a habit.” However, you can fortify your happiness in many ways.

At a personal level: Be physically active and adapt a positive mental attitude. Watch less TV and read less newspapers as you will be bombarded with more bad news. Generate positive emotions such as cheerfulness, hopefulness and mindfulness. Every day dress smartly and welcome each day with high expectations.

At the workplace: Do you appreciate yourself at work? Are you happy with your contribution to the company? Value your capabilities, talents and your expertise. Take note that your boss recognizes your input because you are a trusted brand.

At home and beyond: Happiness at home means people living together in harmony.Each and every one at home exercises restraint. There is consideration and communication among family members. Respect and support are shown to each others and whenever necessary sacrifice is made for other members of the family. Are you at peace with your neighbors? Do you greet each other? A friendly relationship with your neighbors will contribute greatly towards your happiness. Have you considered the environment that you are in? Living in a peaceful and serene neighborhood will impact your happiness positively. A noisy and highly polluted place will jeopardize your well-being and happiness. Is your house clean and tidy and free from clutter? Such a living condition will enhance your happiness tremendously.

Happy with what you have: Happiness is the way you treat your material things. For instance, you have a pair of branded jogging shoes, instead of using it for jogging; you kick stones and other things along the way. Do you think it will last? How about your car? Do you regularly clean and wash the body to maintain its luster and shinny appearance? Do you send for servicing when it is due? Do you check the tire pressure, the engine oil levels at regular intervals? The more care you give to your car, the more trouble-free pleasure you will be able to derive from it. This is happiness.
Do not envy and be jealous about your neighbor’s new car or others material possessions. You never know, they are bought with credit cards or by hire purchase. Your neighbor is deeply in debt. Do you want to be in his or her situation? What you have is truly yours because you bought with cash. Be happy and enjoy what you have.

Happiness in relationships: The flowers in your garden are blooming. You are happy just by looking and appreciating the colorful flowers. The liveliness of you plants in you garden is in proportionate to the attention and care that you have given to them. You water the plants and apply fertilizers. You clear the weeds and get rid of the pests. The more you care for the plants the better your plants will grow. At the next level, how much love you have given to your dog at home? No doubt about it, your pet will give you unconditional love. However, when you regularly and consistently walk your dog, your pet will love you even more. When it is time to go for a walk your pet will howl, wag its tail and jump with joy and excitement. At a higher level when you are interested in other people and you always show your concern; your caring attitude will be reciprocated. People are happy to be with you and they will do things for you when you ask for it. Aren’t these happiness?

Happiness is about how much love you have given to yourself, your work, your co-workers, your family, your neighbors, your car, your jogging shoes, your dog and the plants in your garden.

Monday, March 8, 2010

How to be a Trusted Brand

“Trust is not given, it’s earned.” says the CIMB Bank advertisement in the New Straits Times to congratulate Datuk Nicol David for being voted the Most Trusted Person in Malaysia. According to The Trust Survey conducted by Reader’s Digest in October 2009 and published in the March 2010 issue, the top 10 trusted Malaysians are:

1. Datuk Nicol Ann David (squash world champion)
2. Tan Sri Dr Jemilah Mahmood (founder of Mercy Malaysia)
3. Datuk Lee Chong Wei (badminton Olympic silver medalist)
4. Dato’ Mohd Nor Khalid ((cartoonist)
5. Dato’ Jimmy Choo OBE (shoe designer)
6. Adibah Noor (singer, actress)
7. Dato’ Michelle Yeoh (Hollywood actress)
8. Dato’ Jins Shamsuddin (veteran actor)
9. Afdlin Shauki (actor/comedian)
10. Chef Wan (chef) and Datin Paduka Sharifah Mazlina (adventurer, first Asian woman to trek to the North and South Poles) (tie)

What are the ingredients that are required to build yourself into a trusted brand?
Check out this list:

• Simplicity
• Honesty
• A balanced life
• Humble
• Avoid excessive publicity ( popularity does not necessary spell public trust)
• Consistent
• Offer value
• Passion
• Don’t make even a single wrong move or leave one promise unfulfilled, and you will never be trusted.
• Be transparent; let others be informed of the big picture, so that they can understand the circumstances when you cannot fulfill a certain promise. Then you won’t be seen to be breaking their trust.
• Accountable to yourself, your team, your company or your country
• Ability to deliver the first time and every time
• Be good in what you do
• Strong family ties
Respect others

Trust cannot happen overnight. It is developed and built over a long period of time. According to Dolly Kee, Managing Director of Image Power,”You must like and trust yourself first before you can get others to trust you.”

Extracted from Reader’s Digest March 2010 issue

Saturday, March 6, 2010

14 A’s in Positive Emotions

Image result for positive emotion images

According to research a person high in EQ is more capable in handling relationships than a person just high in IQ. The ability to know your own inner feelings means you are able to adjust your own behavior towards others in an appropriate way. You do not want to utter the wrong words and spoil the relationships in a moment of anger with another person. Generate more positive emotions to promote good feelings in you. Here are the A’s in positive emotions:

1. Able: Telling yourself that you are capable is a way to boost your self-esteem.

2. Abundant: Are you happy? Are you satisfied with your life? If so, you can say that you are living in abundance.

3. Accepted: Accept yourself as what you are and you are also accepted by others as what you are. Be proud of yourself

4. Accomplished: Be happy about your achievements. What you have achieved will boost your self-confidence.

5. Active: Are you active mentally and physically? There is energy in you when you act promptly. You walk and do things faster.

6. Adaptable: Are you able to adjust yourself to things that you cannot change? Be flexible.

7. Admirable: Do you admire yourself? Do you like yourself? Feel great about yourself.

8. Alert: Be quick to react to changing conditions.

9. Ambitious: Dare to be different and do not take no for an answer. You leave no stones unturned to get what you want in life.

10. Appreciate: Appreciate your talents and your abilities and appreciate those who help you in one way or another.

11. Assured: Be confident of yourself. Welcome challenges in life to sharpen your problem solution skills.

12. Attentive: Be mindful. There is no regret about the past and no worry about the future.

13. Attractive: Do you always dress smartly to look your best? Let others know that you care about yourself

14. Awesome: Feel good about your life, your career, your family, your health and your wealth. Be delighted with what you have.

Every day think of all these positive words to develop in you a positive mental attitude.

Friday, March 5, 2010

7 Essential Things to Do Every Day

7 Essential Things to Do Every Day

You are passionate about what you do every day to achieve your ultimate objectives in life. While you are fervently working on your goals, do not forget other essential things you must do in your daily life. A meaningful and happy life is a balanced life.

1. Take care of your health: Priority should be given to your health. The state of your health will determine how well you will conduct the affairs of the other areas. Are you feeling leg ethic or are you feeling full of energy and ready to go. Be physically active every day and follow a balanced diet. Do not cut short your sleep and take frequent short breaks during the day to clear clutter in your mind.

2. Mind your career: Develop yourself into a trusted brand. Be a valuable person at the workplace by acquiring other essential skills. Deliver promptly and fully every time. Be thorough in your work and keep your promises.

3. Manage your personal finance: Follow your budget and do not spend more than what you have earned. Set aside an amount each month to accumulate and build your wealth. The best policy in personal finance is to stay of out of debt.

4. Look after your family: Don’t bring home your work. Devote your time to your spouse and children. When you are at home communicate and share ideas with family members.

5. Nurture relationships: Build connection with your co-workers, your boss, and other people in the industry. Gain their support, cooperate and collaborate with them to further your goals in life.

6. Continuous learning: Be alert to changes and keep yourself posted about developments in your area of expertise. Keeping yourself up-to-date is the only way to survive in this competitive world

7. Promote positive emotions: Appreciate yourself and feel good about yourself. Go to work confidently and be cheerful at work. Be mindful and show your enthusiasm at work.

Success in life is more than just pursuing your career goals or acquiring wealth. You will achieve a lot more when you pay equal attention in each area. They are closely connected and they complement the activities of each and every area. You can’t be a successful person when you have achieved your career goals but end up with a broken family.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

How to be Successful at the Workplace

Your boss employs you because of your expertise. Your technical skills will complement his own skills to propel his business further. However, your boss will not know much of your character and your style of working. Also, the boss is yet to find out how good you are in your area of expertise. What do you need to do in order to be successful in your career?

Your technical skills: Make sure you are able to deliver as expected by your boss each and every time. Whenever the boss refers to you he or she is satisfied and happy with what you can offer.

Your brand: It is not good enough just to rely on your professional skills. You have to be punctual. Do not go missing in action. Deliver as promised over and over again until you have developed yourself into a trusted brand.

Be a valuable employee: Don’t rest on your laurel. What other talents do you possess? Can you speak a few languages? Do you have other skills required at the workplace? Make yourself more valuable by being more knowledgeable.

Relationships: The close rapport that you have with your boss does not happen overnight. It is developed over a long period of time. There will come a time that you can joke with him or her at a lighter moment. Strive to be in the good book of your boss.

High EQ: You must be able to control your own emotions and show only your cheerfulness at work. You also need to know the mood of your boss in order to get what you want at the right time.

There is no instant success at the workplace, you have to develop yourself into a trusted brand and it takes time. Hone your area of expertise, develop a positive mental attitude and build the confidence of your boss in you.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

How to Ask for a Raise or Bonus

How to Ask for a Raise or Bonus

In certain business establishments there are no written benefits for the staff. There are also cases where there are no unions to represent the workers and so there are no collective agreements for the workers to exercise their rights. In a world of employment uncertainty how do you ask for a raise or bonus?

Why should you ask for it?

When there is nothing written in black and white, all the more it is necessary for you to approach your boss to get an increment or annual bonus. The other point is that your boss is a busy person, he or she may be willing to accede to your request but if you do not ask for it, it can be forgotten. Another point is when the company is making a profit it is even easier to ask for it.

How do you ask for it?

First of all, ask yourself these soul-searching questions: Are you in a position to ask for a raise or bonus? Are you a trusted and reliable staff? What are your contributions to the company? Are you in the good book of the boss? Is your performance noticed by your boss? Are you in a position to know the company bottom line? Prepare yourself fully before you do the next move.

Even when you know you are a deserving case, please do not approach your boss with a gun and say, “I want a pay raise,’ or ‘I want my bonus.” A soft approach is the best strategy. You should go to him or her by saying that you are requesting for a pay raise or a bonus and you are asking your boss to consider. Of course you have to back up your request with facts and figures. By allowing your boss a breathing space he or she will look into the matter with an open mind. You will be very likely to get what you have asked for.

You should ask for your bonus in December or January. Ask for an increment in the anniversary month of your employment. Talk to your boss only when he or she is in a good mood.

Wish you good luck.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

7 P’s of Time Management

time management
Photo credit:

1. Plan: What is your vision? What are the goals that you have set for yourself? Do you break down your goals into monthly, weekly and daily tasks? Always carry with you a daily to-do list. It is a great tool to get things done.

2. Prioritize: Attend to a few important things in your to-do list especially those that are urgent and important.

3. Practical: Do not cram too much work in a day. Don’t create stress for yourself. Aim to work less and achieve more.

4. Proactive: Taking proactive steps are like taking preventive measures. As an example, a maintenance manager will devise a program to do routine servicing and checking of the plants and machinery. He will not allow a piece of machine to be out of order and go into an emergency situation. Putting out fire is not his style of management Likewise, it is necessary to do continuous learning in order to hone your expertise .It is not urgent but it is important. The thing is that when an opportunity arises you are ready.

5. Practice: Planning and prioritizing are well and good but if you don’t put into action, nothing is going to happen.

6. Punctual: Go to work on time or be at the workplace earlier. Be on time for meetings and appointments. When you are late you waste not only your time but other people’s time as well. It does not reflect well on you.

7. Procrastinate: Do it now. Time is too precious to be wasted by delaying to carry out what you should be doing. Think of all the benefits in getting things done every day. It is a good habit in time management.

Manage your time more effectively with the 7 P’s.

Monday, March 1, 2010

How to be a Better Executive

As an effective executive you are able to manage yourself, manage others, manage your work and chart your future.

Personal management

• Self-development: What you have learnt is not enough to cope with your work. You need to be on the lookout for new ideas to do things more efficiently and effectively. The only way to survive in the corporate world is to adopt an attitude of continuous learning.

• Emotions: Are you able to manage your emotions? Know your mood and act accordingly. Generate more positive emotions such as cheerfulness, appreciation and confidence at work.

• Grooming: Dress appropriately and smartly, you will feel good about yourself. Others will perceive you as a meticulous person.

• Self-care: Self-care means looking after your well-being. Be physically active and follow a balanced-diet. Get sufficient sleep and know how to manage stress,

• Personal traits: Develop yourself into a trusted brand by acquiring such traits like honesty, punctuality, promptness, alertness and attention to detail.

Manage others

• Manage your boss: Treat your boss with respect. Support him or her as much as he or she has supported you. Don’t go to your boss with just problems, go with solutions as well. Complete and deliver assignments on a timely fashion. When you are not sure, do not assume, clarify with your boss before getting things done.

• Manage your co-workers: Work as a team, cooperate with other department heads to achieve the goals of the company.

• Manage your subordinates: The best thing that you can do is to set good examples. They are watching to see you really do what you have preached. Be direct and honest with them. Catch them doing something right and praise them. Show your appreciation for jobs done well. Be impartial with all staff, and do not show favoritism. Communicate clearly, precisely and fully and get feedbacks from the staff. Know how to get things done through delegation. You must be able to offer constructive criticism without demoralizing the staff.

Manage your work

• Getting organized: Always carry with you a to-do list for the day. Get the most important things done when your energy is at your peak. Listen to your body rhythm; are you a morning person or an afternoon person? Avoid clutter at your workstation. Maintain proper filing for easy retrieval of documents

• Time management: Time management is actually work management. Learn to do less but achieve more within limited time

• Deadlines: Aim to complete an assignment earlier than expected. In case changes are required you will not fall into an emergency situation.

• Creativity: Look at problems as challenges. Be resourceful to come up with solutions. Problem solving will eventually become a useful habit. at work

Manage your future

• Set goals: Do you know where you are going in 10 years down the road? Without direction you will waste valuable time and effort in the long-term.

• Aim high: Reach for the moon; even if you don’t get there you are among the stars.

• Put in writing: Are you serious about your ambition? Written goals are powerful motivator because it inspires you to focus on your objectives every day

• Daily effort: Your goals are achieved on a daily basis and accumulate over time. Make it a daily habit to work on them.

Executive effectiveness is about looking after oneself, getting along with others, getting things done with limited available time and working towards one’s future diligently.
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