Excerpt from Rich Dad Poor Dad, by Robert Kiyosaki

“Although both dads worked hard, I noticed that one had a habit of putting his brain to sleep when it came to money matters, and the other had a habit of exercising his brain. The long-term result was that one dad grew stronger financially and the other grew weaker. It is not much different from a person who goes to the gym to exercise on a regular basis versus someone who sits on the couch watching television. Proper physical exercise increases your chances for health, and proper mental exercise increases your chances for wealth. Laziness decreases both health and wealth.

My two dads had opposing attitudes in thought. One dad thought that the rich should pay more in taxes to take care of those less fortunate. The other said, “Taxes punish those who produce and reward those who don’t produce.”

One dad recommended, “Study hard so you can find a good company to work for.” The other recommended, “Study hard so you can find a good company to buy.”

One dad said, “The reason I’m not rich is because I have you kids.” The other said, “The reason I must be rich is because I have you kids.”

One encouraged talking about money and business at the dinner table. The other forbade the subject of money to be discussed over a meal.

One said, “When it comes to money, play it safe, don’t take risks.” The other said, “Learn to manage risk.”

One believed, “Our home is our largest asset.” The other believed, “My house is a liability, and if your house is your largest investment, you’re in trouble.”

Both dads paid their bills on time, yet one paid his bills first and the other paid his bills last.

One dad believed in a company or the government taking care of you and your needs. He was always concerned about pay raises, retirement plans, medical benefits, sick leave, vacation days and other perks…. The other believed in total financial self-reliance. He spoke out against the “entitlement” mentality and how it was creating weak and financially needy people. He was emphatic about being financially competent.

One dad struggled to save a few dollars. The other simply created investments.

One dad taught me how to write an impressive résumé so I could find a good job. The other taught me how to write strong business and financial plans so I could create jobs.

Being a product of two strong dads allowed me the luxury of observing the effects different thoughts have on one’s life. I noticed that people really do shape their life through the thoughts.”

 

To get this book click here

and/or (I really hope you go for and)

Visit the richdad.com website – It has really cool stuff there for FREE!

Crash course on Public Speaking

First of all there is no such thing.

Public Speaking takes practice.

I’ve compiled the The Public Speaking Manual to help people who would like to develop this skill.

I published it as a PDF document but it’s a nightmare to open so left the PDF document out.

Happy reading!

Hope this helps.

You’re welcome to share it with friends.

 

What do you deserve this year?

I recently signed up a client who I’ve been telling for a long while (prior to being my client) how huge her earning potential is. Despite this tremendous potential she barely makes it from month to month on her current earnings.

Eventually I couldn’t help but ask her why she wasn’t tapping into this potential. She told me she wasn’t very good at marketing herself. Fantastic! I said simply because I’m brilliant at coaching people to do that. But I could sense her challenge went a little deeper than this “inability to effectively self-market” so I asked her why she felt she wasn’t good at marketing herself-

“I’ve lost trust in people,” she answered.

I found this really sad because she is so incredible with people!

I then asked her why this was- Turns out she’d suffered a traumatic relationship that had left her reeling. While it happened years ago it’s affecting her today and ultimately her business potential (among other things).

I told her I was willing to work with her and by the time she was done with me she’d have to beg people to stop throwing money at her! (Yeah I’m that good). But on a serious note I told her the first thing she had to do was start changing what she thought of herself and what she told herself about her.

I shared, with her,  my belief that her lack of confidence in people reflected a lack of confidence in her own self. A cycle that may have begun longer than she may have realized. And one she had unfortunately accepted and made her reality.

I know exactly how this happens simply because I’ve gone through it. Even when I’d realized that I was doing it and decided to get myself out of jaundiced thinking and thus pathetic actions I continued to sell myself short. Why? Because my own truth was that I didn’t (really) believe I deserved better.

Deserving better doesn’t just mean earning more money, it means nurturing your well being whatever that may mean for you. In business it may mean working in an environment that appreciates you and inspires you to grow. It may mean pursuing your dreams, however wild they may seem for the mere fact that even just the pursuit of the dream will make you happy. It means having the courage to say “You know what! I bloody well deserve better!” And starting the (sometimes tough) journey of getting out of a rut that treats you less than.

Every new moment in the days we are given presents us with opportunities to climb and do better.

For me a new year magnifies this “another chance” in our lives. A chance to bury the horrible relationships (personal or business) that once sucked us dry and find new ways to nurture our well being.

The doing better begins with changing the conversations we have with ourselves about ourselves.

How we almost missed the moon

Can you for a moment imagine how much mockery was endured by the person who first desired to go the moon?

Who knows who that person was?

Perhaps they lived at a time when people still thought the world was flat – and theirs was the voice crazy enough to desire such a (then) obscene notion.

The thing about most extraordinary ideas is that, often, they are way ahead of their time. Which is what makes them revolutionary. It’s why they change the world.

Now, going to the moon really isn’t that big a deal. People, albeit a very small group, now go there – on a regular basis.

Imagine how silly the idea of a toothpick was before it came into being.

Remember the folks who said the internet would never take off and there would “always be a market for newspapers”?

I love the world we live in now. Simply because never has there ever been a time when the sky really is only the beginning of what’s possible.

We live in an age where information and opportunities are abundant. With just a few taps on our computers we can find stuff out that once upon a time cost tons of time and sometimes tons of money.

In this time of abundance the challenge is for us (particularly as caregivers) to impart the value of uniqueness and encourage the notion that crazy ideas must be the norm.

Every which way I turn I’m coming across so much information that yells “CHANGE! the way you think and do!”.

I’m inundated with warnings against opening my child to the very structures and institutions that broke me.

Today my husband and I spoke (again) of how much we hated school.

I remember how one year I broke out in horrible sores due to the dread of school.

Had I listened to what I was told to believe of myself in school – I would probably be an utter failure now.

In one of my school essays I remember a remark from one of my English teachers that read: “Hannah! A deer in Africa?!” I can’t remember what the essay was about only that in it I’d mentioned a deer and yes the setting was Africa.

I remember being so carried away by the beauty of my own writing and how distraught I was that none of that beauty had been acknowledged. To this day – almost twenty years later all I can remember of that incident was being scolded for not getting the animal “right” in my story.

There is more and more information warning us of how much mainstream school damages children.

In school I was labeled an average student. Despite the fact that I had always loved writing, my teachers didn’t think I had any talent as a writer. They told me so in the way they graded me and the remarks with which they tore my work (and me) to pieces.

Sometimes though the “breaking” doesn’t just happen in school. It happens at home. Or on the job. Or in an unhealthy relationship.

I love writing. Usually my grammar is wrong – I start with words one should never begin a sentence with and I don’t have much of a “style”. But here’s what I know for sure – I am a good writer. Not because anyone says so but simply because I enjoy my own writing.

I think about writing more than I think of anything else. So much of what I do stems from my love of writing. And to me that’s all that matters.

I don’t write to be graded or to “reach” anyone or even to tell a story. I write because writing allows me to express the deepest parts of me. It exposes me like no other work I’ve ever done can. It allows me to speak to my inner soul and self-heal. It’s how I find meaning and purpose. It’s how I gauge the things I’ve learned, how I mark my progress in this life and how I document the experiences that wow, break and define me.

What I end up sharing beyond the audience of Me is merely a by-product of the journey writing allows me.

Had I believed in what they said of me in school I would have let go of this very important and delicate part of me. And I would have lost.

You don’t have to believe the neglect and dismissal with which you were met when you tried to express your inner self. That thing that makes you tick is first a gift to you and then (if you choose) to the world. In that order. You have to enjoy and appreciate it even in solitude – even when the only audience is you.

How much you enjoy it will bubble over and you won’t be able to help yourself from sharing it. The more you share it the more your own desire to get better and bigger at it will grow. And the cycle continues.

I suspect that some people don’t create extraordinary things because they live the lies they were told.

My hope is that more of us would debunk the utter rubbish that was spoken over our lives. And I hope we would save our kids from being bullied into believing that ideas as outrageous as going to the moon are silly.

P.S. Many thanks to Mrs Anne Levitz. She was my English language lecturer in college. She thought I was a gem from the very first piece I wrote and read in her class. She nurtured what she believed to be talent in me throughout my time with her.

And thanks Raj for sending me Ken’s video.

A sure way to get that job

It’s quite startling to me that while (for the most part) I’m great at encouraging and coaching people on how they can be successful, at times, I neglect to apply the same principles I share to my own circumstances.

I was reminded of this recently. Upon this realization I chose to reboot and act as I know I should when it comes to believing in me.

People will often treat you as you treat yourself.

If you undersell, under value, undermine, under believe, under appreciate yourself – do not wonder how come other people treat you this way.

I often speak about my brothers because they are easily the most hard-working people I have ever come across. I sometimes perceive them to be far much more advanced in their careers not because they are smarter or better but because they have been more confident in who they are and what they bring to the table.

A friend of mine did some pretty impressive research some time ago. She found out that one of the reasons men generally earn more than women, and men advance faster and further in their careers, is that (for the most part) men are far better at marketing and selling themselves.

At the time of research she found that women would (generally) only apply for positions they felt they utterly (as in 100%) met the criteria of while men (generally) would go for a position they’d only partially (60%) met the criteria of.

There is something I learned as a Public Speaking coach that I tell clients who are applying for a job (that job interview in particular): what you know and can bring to the table far outweighs meeting all the criteria.

My favourite question when being interviewed is “So what do you plan to bring to the table?” Ask me that question in an interview and, quite honestly, there isn’t a person waiting to be interviewed outside that door who will beat me at getting that job. They may be better spoken, better dressed, better educated and even more experienced – but when you ask me what I bring to the table I will outshine them all. Is it arrogance? Not at all. It’s a sure confidence I’m learning from my go-getter friends and of course my go-getter brothers.

Innovative companies are not looking for a wonderful “all rounder” who can do “everything” and is “a quick learner”. You’re not a monkey applying for a gig with the circus – you’re a human being; an individual who is brilliantly creative and passionate. And when given the opportunity in the right environment you will blow the socks off everyone.

I’m not keen on working with a company or business that will not ask me “So what do you plan to bring to the table?” Simply because such a business may feel it “has arrived.” If this is a case it’s a dying company and I don’t want to be a part of it. Not asking for new ideas tells me a firm has a set way of doing things and thus does not have room for me to grow. I would be wasted on such a business.

No business is so spectacular it cannot be improved upon. The greater the company the more innovative you have to be to be a part of it. And great companies know that every single person involved in their business is a potential gold mine if nurtured correctly. Read Tony Hsieh’s book Delivering Happiness for a bit more on this.

Believe in you. Believe that what you have to offer may revolutionise the way a business does things. Don’t take a job just to earn a paycheck – take a job that will challenge you to grow and reach beyond yourself. Take a job that will inspire you to do remarkable things that will earn the business you’re involved in big bucks. When business hears money – you’ve got the job. Period.

How much you believe in you will do much to determine how much others believe in you.

How much you dedicate to delivering what you promise will determine the strength and durability of the ladder you build as you make your way to the top.

Don’t trade a stress-free future for stuff!

Recently I wrote about a young man who’d spoken with me about a financial issue he was faced with.

I wrote about how teachable he seemed. This led me to believe his willingness to learn would result in him making the right decisions with his money.

I don’t know much about money but I thought to share a few things I believe have done much to help me in my financial decisions.

I believe financial security is one of the key ingredients to a stress free life and dare I say a bit of happiness.

If one lives in a place like Tana, Papua New Guinea, where the people need no money and live ENTIRELY on what nature provides – then this discussion is unnecessary.

If however one lives in a society that requires money for (EVEN) the water you drink – then this may be something you may decide to take a look at.

One of the reasons people (particularly middle-income earners) were hit so hard by the recent recession was way too many people lived from pay check to pay check. So when things got really expensive that check (that was already not meeting all requirements) was under even more pressure to do what was impossible for it to do.

As a working person you need a place to stay, food, transport, a few decent clothes for work, enough for school fees (if you have kids)- the rest are luxuries.

Last week was my youngest brother’s birthday. He had a very specific budget for his birthday toy. Walking around the store with him looking for a toy that would fit in that budget was a huge reminder to me about how I’d let my own finances slip a little.

So many times during out shopping expedition I was so tempted to buy him the toys he wanted because they were just “slightly” over his budget. But I knew if I did that I would be teaching him that it’s ok to spend more than what you have and more than what you planned to spend – something I have (for years) avoided like the plague.  Living not only within my budget but way under it has served me tremendously well. It has over the years saved me from living from paycheck to paycheck.

Some may think me arrogant in what I’m saying but I recently had a conversation with a lady who cleans houses. She is of the same mind. She (might I point out) is considered in this country as a low-income earner. However she shares the same principle I do. As such she has managed to educate four children, built her own home and doesn’t have a stitch of credit to her name. She is absolutely debt-free and joyfully tells me she teaches her children to be happy with what they have.

It’s human nature to feel, “I deserve a nice car,” or “I deserve nice clothes” or “I deserve a fancy phone” or “I deserve a fancy house.” It’s absolutely natural to feel this way. But before you decide you “deserve” any of the things I’ve mentioned (or haven’t mentioned) may I advise that you tell yourself “I deserve a debt free, financially, secure future?”

Research in South Africa shows that for the most part, people don’t save. Money is spent as fast as it comes so when a crisis hits: stress levels go through the roof, people lose their homes, cars are repossessed and emergency (forced) downscaling is revved into action. This doesn’t need to happen. The time to downscale is not when times are hard. The time to downscale is when times are really really good. (Like saving that December bonus for the many expenses in January).

If you can teach yourself to live on less when you have much – you won’t struggle so much when the drought comes.

My dad once told me: “If you don’t have the money to pay for it cash – you can’t afford it.” It’s a lesson I avoided implementing for a while. But once I did I saw a significant change in my finances that has carried me through financial hurricanes that could have otherwise obliterated me.

Saving and being patient to acquire things as you build your finances is not easy. The rewards though are long lasting and worthwhile.

I remember watching a program on TV where a woman was spending her family to the ground.

Her husband had no idea how much debt they were in because of her insane shopping habits.

At some point during the program the people who were trying to help her said something along the lines of “You are trading your children’s futures for stuff!”

May I suggest: Don’t trade your future for stuff!

I hope to write a bit more on this subject.

For now I hope you’re already thinking of putting off things you were planning to buy but are really not necessary right now (if you can’t afford them in the long term).

Oh about my brother: he bought himself a really cool toy- and got some change- which he decided to save.

Gold for crap anyone?

A young man contacted me this week about a financial conundrum he was facing.

I think he’ll do just great and will make a real success of himself. My main reason for this strong belief: he seems teachable.

As a young woman, in my early twenties, I was very ambitious and like most young people: I felt I knew a lot about a lot. And like most young people- of course I didn’t.

In my zeal and incredible energy I was revved up and raring to take charge of my life and run to the great destiny I believed awaited me.

As I was running (most times utterly blind) my pastor asked me a question that took me a long time to comprehend – but once I did, I realized, it was one of the most important questions I’d ever been asked. He asked me, “Hannah are you teachable?”

My immediate answer was “Yes! Of course I am!”

But his wisdom and observation of me told him that in fact I was not.

It took me a really long time to understand that he hadn’t asked the question to put a damper on my eagerness or ambition to succeed. He had asked it in the hope of igniting an internal conversation with myself that would stop me from self destructing.

So often I come across people self-destructing because they refuse to be taught. And in refusing to be taught they trade their destinies: gold for crap.

It takes humility and a teachable spirit to be great and to reach the destiny that will leave a valuable legacy of your life.

Who you decide to be taught by is just as important.

I’ll tell you more (he said I could) about this young man  I spoke about at the beginning of this post… a little later.

Who you hanging with?

As a kid my parents were very particular about who I hung out with.

In my teens this became problematic as my parents reined me in, became overly protective and pretty much dictated who could and could not be my friends.

I was resentful and felt so hard done by – but I was raised in a family where the parents laid down the law – you got to have an opinion, when and only when, you could pay your own rent.

This style of parenting is so not popular. It’s frowned upon because children “do have rights”. But as an adult now I’m quite grateful my parents were my sense of reason when it came to who I hung out with.

Yeah their methods might have been what could be perceived as extreme (particularly in this laissez faire culture) but those methods probably saved me from much heartache and getting into situations that might have negatively impacted the course of my life.

This year most of my really close friends advanced tremendously in their careers.

One of my friends obtained her MBA and left her job to become an independent consultant.

Another got her honors degree in engineering while being offered, what I believe, to be the earth moon and stars from her employer because of how awesome she is in her job. (She’s one of those people that are a head hunter’s dream).

Another got a significant pay increase as part of her promotion package… Of course all these achievements challenged me to step it up a notch in my own career. Ok maybe more than a notch. I was kind of compelled to put metal to the pedal and also do something significant and noteworthy.

Oh I have to mention that two of these friends are moms.

The one with the MBA – she studied for it while pregnant (then later breastfeeding religiously) and working a full time job.

The engineer – she’s a tremendous, principled, mom. You can see this through her daughter who at five is such a lady and already a wonderful young woman.

A few weeks ago I had coffee with my MBA friend. As we talked about our new ventures a portion of Scripture kept playing in my head: As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another (Proverbs 27:17).

Perhaps the first step is deciding you are iron. Then understanding that plastic can’t sharpen iron. Wood can’t sharpen iron. Paper can’t sharpen iron. Fabric can’t sharpen iron. Iron sharpens iron.

Some (iron) people fail to get to where they need to get because of the (non-iron) company they keep.

In the workplace or in business circles, it’s oh so tempting to hang around those huddled groups giggling over some juicy piece of gossip, laboring over where the next great party will be, discussing half-ass schemes and the next silly shag – but it’s all a waste of precious time, energy, productivity, and creativity.

If none of your close friends have progressed much in the last year, two years, three years – you probably need to be rethinking your ties with them. It’s harsh and it sounds judgmental but more often than not you’ll find that if one’s friends aren’t progressing neither are they.

One of the most remarkable things my mom ever did for me in my teen years happened in my final year of high school.

In high school I was probably what would generally be considered an utter loser (weren’t they wrong!).

I’d believed the lie that I was an average student.

I hated high school with such intensity that one year I broke out in the most vicious, stress induced, pustules of malignant ooze – as the Trunchbull in Matilda would describe them.

I did very little to contribute to my school life. I did however completely dedicate myself to two extracurricular activities (which, to save face, I will not mention).

At my valedictory service pretty much everyone in my year received some kind of acknowledgment and a prize to go with it. I think there was even a prize for just being helpful. I received nothing. Despite my dedication and utter commitment to those two activities I had been involved in – I got absolutely nothing.

I sat with my mom hoping, as name after name was called, that I too would be mentioned. At the very least to save my mom from the humiliation of having a child who had, in the eyes of the school, achieved absolutely nothing.

The service came to an end without my name being called. I could have cried had I not been so busy nursing my embarrassment, hurt and utter disappointment.

The next morning the title of loser sunk into my bones and I felt ill with failure.

At some point of that unbearable morning my mom called me and handed me an envelope. In it was a wad of cash. “Your prize!” She said.

She went on to tell me: “I watched that service and I know they didn’t call your name but they don’t know what an amazing child you are. And it doesn’t matter that they don’t know. I know. And I appreciate who you are.”

Those words cemented the belief my parents had always try to instill in me: I was iron. It didn’t matter who believed it or not – I was iron.

I have carried my mom’s words in me ever since. Together with my upbringing those words have compelled me to surround myself with iron people.

Often I see parents terrified of making important choices for their children for the sake of being popular with their kids. In the end the kids lose.

Being extremely particular about whom I spend time (and hang out) with started out as a choice my parents forced on me. At the time I loathed this infringement on my independence. Today I applaud them for it.

I am iron. And a lot of how much I push myself forward comes from the people I hang out with.

So the question is: who you hanging with?

 

Hannah Viviers is a financial journalist and founder of HV Public Speaking

What’s in your head?

I’m currently reading about a young man, Tony Hsieh who at age 24 sold a company he co-founded for $265 million. At 34 he sold yet another company he’d co-founded for $1.2 BILLION!

What I’m getting from his story, so far, is not that he’s ultra rich now or that he became a sterling success while most of us were just starting out on measly salaries- no – what I’m getting from his story is how this young man’s mind worked.

Hsieh is one of those people I consider a born entrepreneur.

So let’s skip the part about his billions (very hard to) and focus on the reason I’m writing this. Your success has every (single) thing to do with how your mind works.

You have to decide to be rich (whatever that means to you) and program your mind to think rich.

So many times I have seen poor people squander opportunities to get out of the dumps. It’s sad. It’s heartbreaking and yet I’ve learned that some people – no matter how many opportunities come their way will NEVER ever be rich. Even if money comes to them in hoards and it will leave in hoards.

Some will come so close as to sniff success – even touch it but they will never ever live in the comfort of success. Why? They are poor in their minds.

You will never ever ever ever (you get the infinity I’m trying to illustrate) get a poor person out of poverty until they change their minds.

This is why poverty becomes a generational cycle. This is why countries that are poor now – will probably be poor in at least the next hundred years – unless somehow there’s a shift in how people think.

So what’s the lesson in it for us? Think rich.

Thinking rich means making the decision that you will not squander opportunities.

It means if you’re good at something – find out how to be great at it.

It means learning new things and not being intimidated by failure. It means being bold and ballsy enough to turn down crap offers and mediocre ventures. It means stepping out of the norm – thinking completely out of the box and not being scared of being unpopular.

Thinking rich means not being intimidated by where you are but being empowered by the vision of where you’re going.

It means STOP! scrambling at straws to make meaning of what you feel is a pathetic life and be grateful enough to make the most of the opportunity to have a great life.

You are far greater than you know. You are unique in ways no words could ever fully describe.

You have the specific gifting you need to succeed and the world needs to advance. Yes you!

Never was I so desperate to find ways to earn money as I was after the birth of my son.

I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving him for hours on end and, for me, having a regular job would, most likely, mean that.

Most of my days were spent thinking of how I could become financially independent to the point where I stopped enjoying the time I did have with my son and instead stress took over.

Then I realized the truth of what I’d once heard Keith Johnson say. “One of the reasons you have to be rich is so that you can have the time to do beautiful things.”

The notion of enjoying life upon retirement (in my 60s) did not appeal to me. In fact I didn’t have until 60. My son was here and now and I needed something here and now.

Long story short – the clarity of what I needed to do to earn a healthy income came when my prayer changed to “God give me something to do that will make me money,” to “Father change my mind. So I can think the way I should. To do what I need to do to: 1) Do something I’m passionate about 2) Earn me a healthy income.”

And reluctantly I added: “In that order.”

When you ask for something to do – you may get that thing and only that thing – and maybe whatever other opportunities that specific thing will bring. However when you open yourself up to your mind being changed POW! The sky really is only the beginning!

And as it were I stumbled upon a T.D Jakes teaching on this very subject which you can listen to here.

As I begun to open (and fortify) my mind and as I started to read up on literature that spoke to where I was going – ideas begun to flood in so fast I started walking around with a little book to write everything down. I couldn’t keep up with how fast stuff was flying into my head!

Poor people (generally) look for help from the outside.

Rich people look into themselves and how they can make it big…ger.

That evening I heard Johnson speak, he went on to say two very profound things that I wrote down and have now begun to experience:

  1. Your inner world creates your outer world (i.e. what’s going on in your head is what determines your life’s experiences)
  2. Success is not something you pursue. Success is something you attract by the person you become.

I’d like to leave you with this – you may be looking for investors to get your big idea going – but imagine this: the Creator of the universe (as in every component in it) – you know the Guy who made the stars, the moon, the earth – the ground we walk on – water – air – everyone and everything you see – that Guy so believed in you He decided to be your very first investor. He invested in you an incredible mind and the most remarkable ideas in it.

I reckon it’s about time you cashed in on that investment and start thinking the way you were meant to.

P.S. That book I mentioned earlier is called Delivering Happiness: A path to Profits, Passion and Purpose by Tony Hsieh.

 

Hannah Viviers is a financial journalist and founder of HV Public Speaking

You don’t need money to be rich

Someone recently asked me what this new found passion I’m pursuing was. Here’s the thing I can tell you and it won’t make one ounce of difference to your life.

The issue is not what I’m doing with my life; it’s what you’re doing with yours.

In my post The Pursuit of Wow I wrote about pursuing passion. One of the things I said in that post was how pursuing mine had so enriched my life.

For some reason I feel compelled to write a little more on this topic in this post.

I recommend pursuing your passion with everything you’ve got simply because it will fulfill your life.

I can tell you that at times deciding to live out your purpose on this earth can be daunting and terrifying and sometimes the process (especially if it affects your finances – which it just might) can be hard.

I once read a book on Watchman Nee called Against the Tide. It’s been said that no one really knows how Watchman Nee died. He was arrested for being a Christian in Communist China, imprisoned for about twenty years and it’s not known whether he was released or whether he died in detention. However in the last know known letter Watchman wrote to his sister he tells her to pursue joy (which he believed only God could give) because that no one could take from her.

It’s believed he wrote the letter while in prison.  As I read this I was overwhelmed by what Watchman was proposing. Here was a man who had spent so much of his life in terrible conditions in prison for his faith and yet he was pretty much saying that nothing in his life had given him such immense joy. He may have been a prisoner with nothing to his name but he had found the joy so many people search for (and fail to find) in the luxuries of their comfort.

What I’m I trying to say? I think for the most part most people are lucky in that they may not have to travel the road Watchman Nee traveled to find his joy.

For some your purpose may be in creating wonderful delights in your kitchen and perhaps becoming a world renowned chef. For others it may be that you have a tremendous gifting in one particular area that you would love to write about. For others you may have tremendous business or philanthropic ideas that may just revolutionize something in this world – and all you have to do is: do it!

I have heard so many stories about BIG Hollywood stars dying from some drug overdose or other. The music world is saturated with such stories too. I pick this group of people because they are perhaps the most coveted in the world. Who doesn’t want to be rich and famous?

All my life I wanted to be a TV star. I remember, as a child, speaking into a “pretend” mike and then bowing, blowing kisses and mouthing “I love you toos” to hoards of “pretend” adoring fans. Many people (if their honest) will tell you they too dreamed of such fame and fortune – at least once on their lives.

So how come the very (VERY) few people who do get to live the dreams of most of us also happen to be among the most self-destructive suicidal bunch?

It’s quite simple. Money really can’t buy you happiness. In fact money and fame STILL can’t buy you happiness.

When I became a mom my earnings dwindled to the lowest levels they had plummeted to in years. And never ever had I been happier.

It was in this broke (and deliriously happy) state that I finally gave up every notion I had of being rich and famous and chose instead to simply be happy.

It was also in this stage that I was compelled to find a way to redefine myself and finally pursue what the core of my heartbeat was.

Not having money gave me the freedom to not have to do things (I didn’t necessarily want to) just to earn it.

When I finally experienced that living on little was not so bad I begun to realize how precious my time was. I began to fully grasp how valuable time was and what a gift each minute of each day was.

As though to further nudge me into action to fully utilize the gift of time (and ultimately the life I’d been given) the material I needed to do what I needed to just begun to flood into my life. This material came mostly to change my mind. I’ll blog about this in a separate post because it’s too involved (and juicy) to just briefly mention here.

As my mind begun to change and I begun to get equipped for what I was supposed to be doing with my life- the people who needed what I had just begun to come – and I mean they just crawled out of the woodwork. And the cycle snowballed. And it continues to.

Whether you’re baking cookies that you sell through your local food store or even just to friends, family and neighbors, or whether you love fixing cars and start doing it from a friend’s backyard (cos yours is too small – for now), or you’re just blogging about pursuing your passion (hehehehhehehe) do what you love.

And for crying out loud don’t’ wait to “find” a market. If you’re passionate about it – I can guarantee you that if God gave you the passion it’s because He knows there’s a market for it. Your job is to start doing. The clients will come.

Spending one more moment, one more day, one more year doing what you don’t love is one more moment, one more day, one more year wasted. It’s one more etch in time lost to do what you were created to do. You don’t have forever.

Be your own champion. Be a star in your own eyes.

I can tell you – with absolute certainty- that when you do what you love and love what you do – that Hollywood star who trumps so many others and walks up the stairs of the coveted Academy Awards to receive an Oscar may just trade places with you in a heartbeat if they could just (for one day) have your joy.

I’m sure there are many many stars who have fabulous lives because they are living out their passion and purpose on this earth. I use this group only to illustrate a point: When you’re living a joyful life you are rich beyond what money could ever buy.

 

Hannah Viviers is a financial journalist and founder of HV Public Speaking.