Category Archives: Books

Learning 703

What’s wealth and what the rich focus at? Here’s great answers by Robert Kiyosaki.

“Wealth is a person’s ability to survive so many number of days forward or if I stopped working today, how long could I survive.” – R. Buckminster Fuller

“The rich focus on their asset columns while everyone else focuses on their income statements.”

In 1974, Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald’s, was asked to speak to the MBA class at the University of Texas at Austin. After a powerful and inspiring talk, Ray was asked by the students to join them at their favorite hangout to have few beers, to which Ray accepted graciously.

At that time Ray asked, ‘What business am I in?’

Everyone laughed, thinking Ray was just fooling around.

When no one answered, Ray asked again, ‘What business do you think I’m in?’

The students laughed again, when finally one brave soul yelled out, ‘Ray, who in the world doesn’t know that you’re in the hamburger business? ‘

Ray chuckled, ‘That’s what I thought you would say.’ He paused and then quickly added, ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m not in the hamburger business. My business is real estate. ‘

Ray spent a good amount of time explaining his viewpoint. In his business plan, Ray knew that the primary business focus was to sell hamburger franchises, but what he never lost sight of was the location of each franchise. He knew that the land and its location were the most significant factors in the success of each franchise. Basically, the person who bought the franchise was also buying the real estate under the franchise for Ray Kroc’s organization.

Today McDonald’s is one of the largest owner of real estate in the world. McDonald’s owns some of the most valuable intersections and street corners in America and around the globe.

Most people work for everyone but themselves. Financial struggle is often directly the result of people working all their lives for someone else.

There is a big difference between your profession and your business. When asked, ‘What’s your business?’ people say, ‘I’m a banker.’ And when further asked whether they own the bank, they say ‘No, I work there.’ They are confused their profession with their business.

A problem with school is that you often become what you study. The mistake in becoming what you study is that too many people forget to mind their own business. They spend their lives minding someone else’s business and making them rich. Start minding your own business. Keep your daytime job, but start buying real assets, not liabilities or personal effects that have no real value once you get them home. A new car loses nearly 25 % of the price you pay for it the moment you drive it off the lot.

Keep expenses low, reduce liabilities, and diligently build a base of solid assets. As per author’s view real assets fall into following categories:

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Learning 701

Proper physical exercise increases your chances for health, and proper mental exercise increases your chances for wealth. 

There is a difference between being poor and being broke. Broke is temporary. Poor is eternal. The poor and the middle class work for money. The rich have money work for them.

Too many people are too focused on money and not on their greatest wealth their education. If people are prepared to be flexible, keep an open mind and learn, they will grow richer and richer despite tough changes. If they think money will solve problems, they will have a rough ride. Intelligence solve problems and produces money. Money without financial intelligence is money soon gone. 

Most people fail to realise that in life, it’s not how much money you make. It’s how much money you keep. We’ve all heard stories of lottery winners who are poor, then suddenly rich and then poor again. Or stories of professional athletes, who at the age of 24 are earning millions, but are sleeping under the bridge 10 years later. 

In the long run, it’s not how much money you make. It’s how much you keep, and how many generations you keep it. If you want to be rich, you need to be financially literate. 

Most people, in their drive to get rich, try to build an Empire State Building on a six inch slab. While they are ignorant that they need to dig a deep hole and pour a strong foundation. 

Accounting is possibly the most confusing, boring subject in the world, but if you want to be rich long term, it could be the most important subject. 

Cash flow tells the story of how a person handles money. Money only accentuates the cash flow pattern running in your head. If your pattern is to spend everything you get, most likely an increase in cash will just result in an increase in spending. Thus the saying, “A fool and his money is one big party.”

Most people work harder but don’t get ahead. What is missing from their education is not how to make money, but how to manage money. It’s called financial aptitude – what to do with money once you make it, how to keep people from taking it from you, how to keep it longer, and how to make that money work harder for you. Most people don’t understand why they struggle financially because they don’t understand cash flow. 

There’s an important saying for people in debt, “If you find you have dug yourself into a hole…. Stop digging.” 

Learning 673

Carrot, or stick? You’ve probably heard these two words used to describe incentives for people to do things they may not want to do. 

A carrot is a reward, and a stick is a punishment. A carrot-and-stick approach is not only effective in changing behavior but also best-suited to encourage people to put long-term goals before short-term satisfaction.

Tiny sticks aren’t a deterrent. A big stick, however, makes a potential lawbreaker think twice.

So reprimanding bad behavior is the best way to ensure commitment to long-term goals. Yet for a cash fine to act as an actual deterrent, it is essential that the amount be substantial.

The higher the fine, in fact, the more effective the punishment! Modest fines only put a price tag on bad behavior. Instead of taking the behavior off the table entirely, a small fine makes bad behavior something that’s okay, if you don’t mind shelling out a few bucks.

In sum, fines that could help lawbreakers feel less bad about breaking rules aren’t exactly good fines. Yet if a fine was to go toward something that society generally disapproved of, a potential lawbreaker might make more of an effort to avoid fines by breaking fewer rules.

Lots of little sticks might feel like a tickle. Hit with a big stick, and you can’t help but capitulate.

For instance, cigarette taxes have little effect on the number of smokers because the added cost for each pack is too insignificant to represent an effective punishment for smoking. In other words, the temptation to smoke still outweighs the punishment.

A better option would be to enact instead one large punishment. One big stick gives a person pause, and is much more likely to deter a smoker in a moment of temptation.

Several researchers have suggested replacing the few dollars of tax levied on each pack of cigarettes sold with a smoking permit which, for $5,000, would allow the permit bearer to buy 2,500 cigarettes.

While a smoker might be able to stomach a few bucks with each pack, the enormous cost of a permit could quickly curb behavior at a stroke. And in the end, this big stick would prevent a crippling addiction from causing long-term damage.

It’s true that often, the only way to really change human behavior is through severe punishment!

You also need to set yourself up with a commitment contract. A referee will help keep you in line to meet your goals.

Sticks and carrots offer effective incentives for curbing bad behavior. Yet we also need effective tools to overcome our addiction to now. One way to do this is to make an agreement with yourself, called a commitment contract.

Commitment contracts offer a formal way of taking undesirable behavior off the table. In effect, they’re a way of tying your hands to prevent you from doing bad things in the future.

But how can you effectively establish a commitment contract? For a contract to really make an impact, the punishment for not following through has to be as serious as the bad behavior the contract addresses. Thus severe punishment and public exposure is what will keep you in line.  

For instance, the drug Antabuse helps people avoid drinking alcohol by giving them an immediate hangover as soon as they have a drink.

Commitment contracts should also incorporate a degree of public exposure. What our friends and colleagues think of us often drives our behavior. We react to social pressures by behaving in ways to protect ourselves from ridicule.

For example, a professor committed himself to losing weight by saying he would teach class wearing a swimsuit if he failed to meet his goal. While his idea was extreme, it was effective!

Finding an impartial referee is another element in establishing an effective commitment contract. The success of every contract relies on a reliable authority who can ensure the application of agreed-upon punishments for bad behavior. Without a referee, punishment can easily be avoided.

Don’t just choose a friend to be your referee, as he might go easy on you and let your bad behavior slide. But don’t hire an enemy for the job, either. It’s essential to trust that your referee will be fair and help you achieve your goals!

Long-term changes require realistic goals and long-term commitment contracts. To achieve permanent change, you need to set realistic goals.

For instance, most obese people who decide to lose weight aim to do so by working toward significantly shedding more than 10 percent of their current weight. But reducing your weight by some 10 percent is a serious task! Most dieters often lose a lot of weight quickly, only for their success to be short-lived.

But having realistic goals isn’t enough. You also need a long-term commitment contract to suit them. For instance, a commitment contract for a dietary goal is usually based on the one-time loss of a certain amount of weight. Therefore, an additional commitment contract is necessary to ensure that a dieter then keeps the weight off.
Such a contract should address things like a daily commitment to weight control, a punishment for exceeding a certain weight and a weight range in which the dieter is expected to naturally fluctuate. Only by making long-term commitment contracts like that can you reach your goals and stick with them!

We are slaves to now and often forgo long-term benefits to indulge in immediate rewards. Lucky for us, there’s a way to overcome this bad habit and it starts with carrots and sticks, or rewards and repercussions.

Make your long-term goals a reality with commitment contracts. The next time you decide to make a major life change like quitting smoking, losing weight or saving money, make sure you follow through by drafting a commitment contract. It’s easy to build an effective contract for yourself as long as you set realistic goals and severe punishments for failing to meet them.

Learning 673

Carrot, or stick? You’ve probably heard these two words used to describe incentives for people to do things they may not want to do. 

A carrot is a reward, and a stick is a punishment. A carrot-and-stick approach is not only effective in changing behavior but also best-suited to encourage people to put long-term goals before short-term satisfaction.

Tiny sticks aren’t a deterrent. A big stick, however, makes a potential lawbreaker think twice.

So reprimanding bad behavior is the best way to ensure commitment to long-term goals. Yet for a cash fine to act as an actual deterrent, it is essential that the amount be substantial.

The higher the fine, in fact, the more effective the punishment! Modest fines only put a price tag on bad behavior. Instead of taking the behavior off the table entirely, a small fine makes bad behavior something that’s okay, if you don’t mind shelling out a few bucks.

In sum, fines that could help lawbreakers feel less bad about breaking rules aren’t exactly good fines. Yet if a fine was to go toward something that society generally disapproved of, a potential lawbreaker might make more of an effort to avoid fines by breaking fewer rules.

Lots of little sticks might feel like a tickle. Hit with a big stick, and you can’t help but capitulate.

For instance, cigarette taxes have little effect on the number of smokers because the added cost for each pack is too insignificant to represent an effective punishment for smoking. In other words, the temptation to smoke still outweighs the punishment.

A better option would be to enact instead one large punishment. One big stick gives a person pause, and is much more likely to deter a smoker in a moment of temptation.

Several researchers have suggested replacing the few dollars of tax levied on each pack of cigarettes sold with a smoking permit which, for $5,000, would allow the permit bearer to buy 2,500 cigarettes.

While a smoker might be able to stomach a few bucks with each pack, the enormous cost of a permit could quickly curb behavior at a stroke. And in the end, this big stick would prevent a crippling addiction from causing long-term damage.

It’s true that often, the only way to really change human behavior is through severe punishment!

You also need to set yourself up with a commitment contract. A referee will help keep you in line to meet your goals.

Sticks and carrots offer effective incentives for curbing bad behavior. Yet we also need effective tools to overcome our addiction to now. One way to do this is to make an agreement with yourself, called a commitment contract.

Commitment contracts offer a formal way of taking undesirable behavior off the table. In effect, they’re a way of tying your hands to prevent you from doing bad things in the future.

But how can you effectively establish a commitment contract? For a contract to really make an impact, the punishment for not following through has to be as serious as the bad behavior the contract addresses. Thus severe punishment and public exposure is what will keep you in line.  

For instance, the drug Antabuse helps people avoid drinking alcohol by giving them an immediate hangover as soon as they have a drink.

Commitment contracts should also incorporate a degree of public exposure. What our friends and colleagues think of us often drives our behavior. We react to social pressures by behaving in ways to protect ourselves from ridicule.

For example, a professor committed himself to losing weight by saying he would teach class wearing a swimsuit if he failed to meet his goal. While his idea was extreme, it was effective!

Finding an impartial referee is another element in establishing an effective commitment contract. The success of every contract relies on a reliable authority who can ensure the application of agreed-upon punishments for bad behavior. Without a referee, punishment can easily be avoided.

Don’t just choose a friend to be your referee, as he might go easy on you and let your bad behavior slide. But don’t hire an enemy for the job, either. It’s essential to trust that your referee will be fair and help you achieve your goals!

Long-term changes require realistic goals and long-term commitment contracts. To achieve permanent change, you need to set realistic goals.

For instance, most obese people who decide to lose weight aim to do so by working toward significantly shedding more than 10 percent of their current weight. But reducing your weight by some 10 percent is a serious task! Most dieters often lose a lot of weight quickly, only for their success to be short-lived.

But having realistic goals isn’t enough. You also need a long-term commitment contract to suit them. For instance, a commitment contract for a dietary goal is usually based on the one-time loss of a certain amount of weight. Therefore, an additional commitment contract is necessary to ensure that a dieter then keeps the weight off.
Such a contract should address things like a daily commitment to weight control, a punishment for exceeding a certain weight and a weight range in which the dieter is expected to naturally fluctuate. Only by making long-term commitment contracts like that can you reach your goals and stick with them!

We are slaves to now and often forgo long-term benefits to indulge in immediate rewards. Lucky for us, there’s a way to overcome this bad habit and it starts with carrots and sticks, or rewards and repercussions.

Make your long-term goals a reality with commitment contracts. The next time you decide to make a major life change like quitting smoking, losing weight or saving money, make sure you follow through by drafting a commitment contract. It’s easy to build an effective contract for yourself as long as you set realistic goals and severe punishments for failing to meet them.

Learning 649

“Your  I can  is  more  important  than  your  I.Q.”
When  you  form  the  habit  of  searching  for  the  positive  in  every circumstance,  your  life  will  move  into  its  highest  dimensions.  This is  one  of  the  greatest  of  all  the  natural  laws.

And  it  all  starts  with  using  your  mind  more  effectively.

All  success  in  life,  whether  material  or spiritual,  starts  with  that  twelve-pound  mass  sitting  between  your shoulders.  Or  more  specifically,  with  the  thoughts  that  you  put  into your  mind  every  second  of  every  minute  of  every  day.  Your  outer world  reflects  the  state  of  your  inner  world.  By  controlling  the thoughts  that  you  think  and  the  way  you  respond  to  the  events  of your  life,  you  begin  to  control  your  destiny.

Learning 643

“Any fool can criticize, complain, and condemn—and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.” 

Many successful individuals actually made it a habit to never openly criticize others.

Benjamin Franklin, for instance, claimed that the secret of his success was to “speak ill of no man.” Abraham Lincoln learned this lesson as well. Criticizing someone is easy, but it takes character to be understanding and to forgive others for their mistakes and shortcomings.

If you want others to like you, try to understand what drives them, accept their shortcomings, and make it a rule to never criticize them openly, for this criticism will only come back to harm you.

One of the strongest drivers of human behavior is the desire to be appreciated by others. We all like being complimented and hearing we’re doing a good job. Some people even claim that all of civilization ultimately rests upon the human desire for appreciation. Our desire for approval and praise makes us climb the highest mountains, write novels and found multimillion-dollar companies.

Try thinking like Ralph Waldo Emerson, who said that every person he met was superior to him in certain ways, so there was always something to learn from and appreciate in other people.

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

Show your appreciation for others by talking about what’s important to them. Take Theodore Roosevelt, for example. Whenever he was about to meet someone for the first time, he thoroughly prepared for the meeting by reading everything he could about the other person’s interests. He understood that the route to any person’s good graces is the ability to talk about the things they value the most.

Of course, there is one topic everybody is interested in: themselves. Every person feels that they are valuable and interesting, and we enjoy others confirming this belief. Benjamin Disraeli was certainly right when he said, “Talk to people about themselves, and they will listen for hours.” Whenever you meet someone, find something you admire about them and tell them about it.

Dale Carnegie, for example, once wanted to brighten the day of a bored service employee, so he told him, “I certainly wish I had your head of hair.” The easiest way to get into the mind-set of appreciating others is to keep in mind the Golden Rule: treat others as you would like others to treat you.

If you want to win others over, show them your full appreciation and be enthusiastic about it. Demonstrate that you’re interested in them and in what they have to say, and try to remember the things they tell you.

Theodore Roosevelt was popular among all his staff because he made a habit of greeting them all by their names. He also deliberately made time for listening to them and tried to remember what they said. By doing this, he showed others his appreciation, and he got far more back in return.

Avoid all arguments – they cannot be won. When you encounter opposition to your ideas, there’s often no need to find an agreement. It’s already valuable to have others challenge your views, without imposing your own ideas on them. Be thankful for their input, and think about their reasoning, instead of automatically arguing to bolster your views.

Never tell others they are wrong; they will only resent you. To get the other person to reevaluate their view, it’s much more effective to be humble and open-minded; for example, “I thought differently but I might be wrong. I’ve been wrong pretty often, so let’s have a look at the facts again together.”

With a little luck, a soft approach will quickly turn opponents into allies, making it possible for you to change their opinions.

Benjamin Franklin made it a habit to never openly oppose others. When speaking to others, he even banished certain expressions from his vocabulary such as “certainly” and “undoubtedly.” He felt they were too rigid and reflected an unbending mindset. Rather, he used phrases like “I conceive” or “I imagine.”

Whenever you are wrong, admit it immediately and clearly. Whenever you do and someone is about to berate you for it, there’s a simple way to steal your opponents’ thunder: admit your mistake quickly and clearly.

This can have an unexpected effect: just a second ago, the other person was planning to bolster his own self-esteem by criticizing you, but the moment you admitted your “guilt,” the situation completely turned around. If the other person still wants to feel important, they must be generous and forgive you.

Dale Carnegie experienced this once when a police officer caught him walking his dog without a muzzle. Even before the officer began to talk, Carnegie himself expressed how very, very sorry he was, and how unacceptable his misdeed was. Normally, the officer might have been very critical and preachy, but thanks to this upfront admission of guilt, the officer did the opposite: he accepted Carnegie’s apology and let him go without a fine.

This approach also has another very positive side-effect: publicly criticizing yourself is much more pleasant than having to listen to others do it.

Public self-criticism is also likely to make others think more highly of you. Anyone can defend themselves in the face of criticism, but it takes character to openly admit your weaknesses and shortcomings.

To be convincing, get others to say “yes” as often as possible. Always emphasize shared interests. Make it clear that both you and your opponent have the same goals. Never reveal your own views before ensuring the other person believes your interests are shared. The most effective way to persuade them of your views is to make them agree with you as often as possible. Build your argumentation by asking your opponent lots of small questions that can only be answered with a “yes.”

The reasoning behind this approach, also known as the Socratic method, is simple: the more yeses you get during a discussion, the greater the probability that you will also get a “yes” when you finally reveal your real position on the subject.

By using the Socratic method, you can even get people to agree with views they would have fiercely opposed only moments before.

Make sure others like you by smiling, listening and showing your appreciation for them. This will make them more inclined to listen to you and do you favors. 

 – Lessons from “How to win friends and influence people. – By Dale Carnegie” 

Learning 595

Reading is a powerful way to gain many years of experience from a few hours of study. Develop a habit of speedy reading. 

Books help you see what is already in yourself. This is what enlightenment is all about.