Let me start by wishing my wife, mum and mother-in-law Happy Mothers’ Day! Frankly, I have received so many great pieces of advice over the years from family and friends, from great books, and from wise people on personal finance but the three have been great and trusted financial advisors.
Recently, I sat down to make a list of the key pieces of advice that I wanted to pass along to my children. Part of my role as a parent is to fill in the gaps that they don’t learn in school.
As the list grew, I found some of the items to be very useful and some perhaps not so useful. A handful of them rose to the top of the list, though. There are two really useful pieces of advice that have served me very well in many different aspects of my life. They’ve helped in growing my finances, in my career, my personal relationships, and my personal growth. Hopefully, you will find some value in them, too.
First, make a conscious effort to be happy at all times and be nice to others too. Over the long haul, people gravitate toward others that they perceive as being happy and pleasant and gravitate away from people who are negative. If you make a conscious effort to be kind to everyone and keep a smile on your face regularly, the net benefits will really add up over time in the form of better relationships with people and a stronger social reputation. This can open doors for you with regard to getting the top-paying job you have always wanted, promotions, or business deals that others would struggle to find.
What are some of the tactics that have kept me smiling and remain nice to people? Well, I try to keep several things in mind that naturally make me smile and I think about them regularly, particularly when I see or meet other people. Thinking about hugs from my children and lovely wife brings a smile to my face really quickly and I can draw on that in mixed situations to mask any uncertainty I might be feeling. On the other hand, if I don’t have something nice to say about others, I don’t say it. Sometimes, when criticism is called for or asked for, I give it, but I include the positive aspects as well.
Second, you are the average of the five people you associate with the most. Make a list of the five people you associate with most in your life. Consider a particular trait shared by all of those people, and rank how the five of you fair around it. Most of the time, you’ll be right around the middle of that list if you included yourself on it. The point being that our performance and our life is in many ways dictated by who we spend our time with. We become like the people we associate with the most. Thus, the best way to improve yourself is to make a conscious effort to associate with people who are strong in a particular area where you want to improve. If you want to be a business leader, hang out with people having strong business leadership traits. If you want to be the best in your profession, associate with the best in your field of specialisation. If you want to be frugal, hang out with the frugal people, not the big spenders.
A blessed weekend to all mothers—and to all those making a conscious decision to succeed in their finances, career and relationships. n