Photo credit: pixabayI’m not really fond of going to malls, but one Sunday afternoon, I found myself in.

I was in SM  to withdraw money from an ATM machine. There were three machines but only two were used for withdrawing. When I arrived I saw lots of people already queuing up in one machine. “Perhaps the other machine is not available”, I thought. However, I didn’t notice any sign that it wasn’t available.

Anyway, I did what most people would do in that given situation; to follow the crowd. I was in a dilemma. Maybe I should try it if it’s really not working. As I thought about this, many people were coming in to join our line. Some didn’t bother to ask what’s wrong with the other until a guy came in suddenly, went to the machine and made a successful transaction. We were shocked! Everyone was looking at each other with puzzled look.

I should have taken the courage to try that machine earlier, but I procrastinated.

One the problems in today’s society is that people tend delay or procrastinate in the area which is most important. I wonder why people don’t commit on something. They say they would wait for the right moment; when they feel like. But, nine out of ten I tell you, that right moment would never come.Action, action, action. This is what counts. No matter how you feel at  the moment,act.

Procrastination, also known in Filipino as “mamaya na mentality”, has been affecting many of our country men. It is a disease in our culture that needs to be cured. No wonder a large number of us become poor. There are many opportunities around us, but when these come, we delay. We don’t act immediately. We are afraid.  If we continue being like this, we will never be successful.

But, the good thing is we can still  root out this bad habit. We start by making goals, what do want in life. After putting them into writing, review the list then prioritize. Lastly, act on them daily, weekly, monthly and yearly. Persevere, and never never give up.

What Bill Gates Has Taught Us in Becoming A World Class Expert

Photo credit: Wikipedia (Common)
Photo credit: Wikipedia (Common)

Probably you’ve heard about how Microsoft was founded. Two guys dropped out of college, started a company in 1975 and became billionaires after. Simple, isn’t it? But that story is just a tip of an iceberg.

In the book of Malcolm Gladwell’s “The Outlier”, reveals that Bill Gates and Paul Allen had spent more than thousands hours of programming practice before founding Microsoft. Gates had started programming at a very young age when computer was rare and so expensive that only the elite could afford it. Since his house was near to the school, Gates would sneak out  at 3am to access the computer inside the campus and practice coding until 6am, then went home  to catch several hours of sleep before going back to school for his classes. That’s how he lived his teenage years. He was so dedicated and disciplined enough that by the time came to launch Microsoft, they were already experts. They were experts because of applying the 10,000 hours rule.

The 10,000 Hours Rule

I thought it was just a normal figure, but after reading  Malcolm Gladwell’s The Outlier, this number now bears a significance.

He says the in order for us to become world class at something we have to spend at least 10000hrs of practice honing and developing our skills.  Many people  become successful because of this rule like  Bill Gates, Bill Joy, the Beatles and many more.

How does it work?

Let’s do the math. Ten thousand divided by 24hrs is equal to 417 days or one year and two months. This is the amount of time you need if you want to achieve mastery in any given field.

Let’s have an example. Let’s say I want to be world-class writer. However, I have a daytime job. But, I can spare at least two hours every day just improving my writing skills. How long will take me to reach this goal? Let’s compute it.

10,000 hrs /2 hrs per day = 5000 days

5000days/365days per yr = 13.79 yrs

Therefore, after 13.79 yrs, I will become a expert in writing. So, easy right? I’m just kidding. That’s the reason why few people reach the top because they are so disciplined and radical enough to start at a very young age. Bill Gates started programming at a very young age. Same with Bill Joy and the other successful men and women all over the world.

Do you apply the same principles in any areas of your life?

How about in your work? Or in your personal growth?

One of the few regrets in my life is that I learned about this when I was already working for many years. If only I had known it earlier while I was still a student, I could have achieved more. But, it is not the end of the story because no matter how young we are, we can still begin again.

There you are, the 10000-hour rule.

My Six Simple Steps to Achieve Financial Freedom

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I would like to share with you some steps to attain financial freedom in the years to come. But, first let me ask you some questions? Are you willing to change your lifestyles if necessary? How willing are you to commit? Can you accept failures? Are you willing to discipline yourself daily, weekly, monthly or yearly till your goals are achieved? If you can answer these questions positively, you are on the right path towards financial success.

Here are the steps I’m talking about..

  1. Increase your income. Don’t just rely on your salary. Use your creativity to look for other means such as selling stuffs to relatives, friends and office mates. Start a small business at the sides. You may also do freelance work. There are many ways to generate more cash flows. However, it requires creativity, self-discipline, hard work etc.
  2. Create an emergency fund. This is really important because there are situations in life that are beyond our control like being fired from the company we are working for or getting sick. Emergency fund is usually equivalent to 3 to 6 months of your salary.
  3. Get an insurance. Some people think that this is not essential, but those people regret later of not having an insurance to cover up medical expenses, or to replace lost income when the breadwinner is gone.
  4. Invest for your retirement. Let’s face the fact that as we get older, our capacity to work lessen as well as our capacity to earn. Having a retirement fund makes us secure, and not a burden to our children in the future. Moreover, it will help us maintain a certain level of lifestyle.
  5. Give back at least a tenth of your income to God or the society. The more we give, the more we receive. Furthermore, the joy of giving is far more greater than thinking only of ourselves.
  6. Enjoy your life while investing for the future. We will miss the point of investing or having an emergency fund or insurance if we don’t to get enjoy life at present. Give yourself a treat from time to time so that investing will not be burdensome.

All of these steps require self-discipline and commitment. You may know many ways to achieve financial independence. Probably, your steps are better than the one I mentioned. But, nothing will happen when we don’t act. I guess the best time to attain financial freedom is NOW.

A wealthy life through self-development, habits, and personal finance