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GS Article 9

INCH BY INCH, IT'S A CINCH!

by Rajen Devadason

Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out.

Robert Collier

  All of us have personal Everests that seem impossible to scale. Whether it be excess flab that really ought to go but that stubbornly stays put, or a financial goal that remains tantalisingly out of reach, or a book that you yearn to write... but can't!

Do you know what I mean? If so, then you might like to keep reading because what I've discovered in my own life and in the lives of many of my financial planning clients is that the formulas for significant accomplishment in every area of life all share one common denominator.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



I realise your challenges and aspirations are different from mine or anyone else's. Yet there is one powerful principle of human life that remains applicable regardless of your realm of personal aspiration.

You would have a clear idea of what I'm referring to simply from the title of this FreeCoolArticle! One version of the root adage goes: "Inch by inch, life is a cinch; and yard by yard, life is hard."

This is an article explaining why a series of small steps can define the journey of our lives to an awesome destination! I hope you enjoy reading it. But if it isn't what you're looking for, you're welcome to search for something that better meets your needs. Thank you for allowing me to serve you.

Rajen Devadason

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Every major accomplishment in your life has been achieved one step at a time. It therefore makes sense to spend time learning practical ways to implement this Principle of Small Steps. We'll do so by taking a closer look at the 3 major challenges I mentioned earlier:

How to lose weight? How to save up a fortune? How to write a book?

It is possible that one, two or even all three of those aspirations mean something to you. But even if they don't, the lessons we're going to learn soon will help you deal with those towering obstacles in your life that are blocking the path to your IDEAL life.

 

HOW TO LOSE WEIGHT?

One pound (or perhaps one kilogram, although that's 2.2 times more difficult) at a time! As I write this, I've lost 8 pounds in 7 months. And I've done so while making no changes to my diet at all.

The first thing I did was realise that my primary goal wasn't really to lose weight. It was to regain the ability to exert myself. Thirty years ago, in school, I ran at a reasonable pace, weighing about 130 pounds. Later, in my 20s, I took to road running and enjoyed it thoroughly with my weight hovering between 140 and 150 pounds. Then I gradually let the busy-ness of life get to me. I stopped running, grew gradually flabbier, fatter and, predictably, heavier, creeping toward the 200 pound mark but never - to the best of my knowledge - reaching it. I probably topped out at about 197 or 198 pounds.

About 20 months ago, I decided that this could not continue. However, there was no way I could run. In fact,  I could barely walk at a fast pace without huffing and puffing. So, I started walking a few times a week... very slowly. The goal wasn't to lose weight but to condition my decrepit body to once again be able to handle a little more physical exertion.

Then about 8 months ago, after a year of base rebuilding, I revved up the frequency of my walks and also gradually increased their length and intensity. A recurrent muscle tear in my left calf has meant that the running portions during those sessions have been brief. But despite setbacks there has been a general sense of improved wellbeing. About seven months ago my weight was 191 pounds. Less than two weeks ago, during a monthly weighing session, the scales showed 183 pounds. While there is a long way to go still, what I'm pleased about are the gradual, incremental gains in fitness, slow melting away of flab (there is still a lot left, though), and tiny reductions in weight revealed during my usual month-end weighing sessions with the scales in my bedroom.

Suggestions: First, decide on what is the primary goal you wish to shoot for. Second, don't get excessively hung up on secondary results. Third, take stock of your progress at monthly intervals.

 

HOW TO SAVE UP A FORTUNE?

One dollar (or euro or yen or ringgit or pound) at a time. Most of us know that saving money is important. However, we tend to make little progress in that department throughout our lives because no one ever tells us that not all savings are created equal.

That's why we often tend to save a bit of cash in the bank or in a portfolio of funds and then before too much time has passed we raid that nest egg and wipe it out.

Here's a better way to save up a fortune: Put in place short-term savings, medium-term savings, long-term savings and eternal savings. What we must remember, though, is that our primary goal should never be the accumulation of money for money's sake. Those who fall into that trap pay for their errors by giving up a portion of their souls. Money in and of itself is meaningless. What makes it useful is what it can accomplish. So focus on your desired outcomes.

For instance, short-term savings might include a six-month effort to set money aside to pay for a holiday or to buy a new television. Medium-term savings might be a 3-year savings effort to build up a down payment for a house. Long-term savings might include a 10-year effort to build up funds to educate your young children in the best university they can get into and a 30-year accumulation of retirement funds for you and your spouse. Eternal savings represent funds you hope to never spend yourself but would like to bequeath to your children or grandchildren after your death or which is earmarked for a foundation you hope to start one day to support orphanages or medical research.

In each of those categories, the simple principle of setting aside a dollar at a time will result in funds building up. To get to the point of actually having a 'fortune', however you might define it, means resisting the temptation to raid YOUR nest egg whenever some other distracting 'need' arises. To have money to save means you must get your personal cash flow pattern under control. Focus on first understanding the components of a cash flow statement and then on constructing one for yourself.

Suggestion: Particularly for your long-term and eternal savings initiatives, start low and slow. Don't put too much pressure on yourself but aim to incrementally raise your savings rate, which is a percentage of your net income. As your savings grow, you will eventually want to invest for potentially higher returns. Even in this regard, start slow and read about financial planning, investing, economics and business. (In case you need guidance, help yourself to my free ebook 26 Books to Take YOU All the Way to the TOP.)

 

HOW TO WRITE A BOOK?

In highly modular fashion. I believe almost all of us have at least one book inside us that's just bursting to escape the confines of our skull and reveal itself - and a large part of us - to the world.

Lots of people talk about writing a book. Very, very, very few people actually start writing it, and an even smaller proportion of would-be authors ever finish their manuscript. Thus far, I've written or co-written 10 books or ebooks, so I know how difficult it is to finish just one. Also, I know that it can be done.

First, don't start writing a book because you want to see your name on the spine of a volume in a bookstore. And certainly don't write one because you think it would be cool to introduce yourself at cocktail parties an 'AN AUTHOR'!

Instead, figure out what message you want to share with the world and whom you hope to help with that message.

After you get your motives straight, take one small step at a time. Don't rush things! Give yourself perhaps a year to think through your book outline, gather information, glean ideas, and read deeply and widely in the field you hope to enrich with your own eventual masterpiece.

Suggestion: Buy lots of colourful manila or plastic folders and label them with your chapter titles or ideas. As you come across information that is relevant to your book, cut it out or photocopy it and throw it into the relevant folder. Do the same thing using titled folders on your computer to save online information you might come across. Keep gathering material for at least six months and then grant yourself a clear long weekend to go over your material and begin the writing process. Aim to complete at least a little bit of writing each day, if possible, even if it's just 200 or 300 words.

Don't wait for the muse to strike. Real writers can't afford to wait for inspiration before they write. They simply write. Sometimes inspiration comes galloping in from left field in support of the disciplined effort; and at other times it seems as though inspiration is thundering away from us. Through it all, just keep writing... a little bit each day.

 

CONCLUSION

Set a magnificent goal.

Check your motives for achieving it.

Figure out what needs to be accomplished to get there. Break up that massive, seemingly megalithic goal into tiny, unimposing ones. Work steadily toward achieving each milestone.

Celebrate the accomplishment of each microscopic goal.

Enjoy yourself!

© Rajen Devadason

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Rajen Devadason, CEO RD WealthCreation Sdn Bhd & RD Book Projects
349, Desa Rasah, Jalan Bayan 7, 70300 Seremban, NS, Malaysia
Tel/Fax: +606 632 8955

 
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