Month: June 2012

What do you want

“What do I want to do for the rest of my life?”

It’s a question most of us ask ourselves at some stage – usually in middle-age when we are heading towards retirement.

You wake up one day thinking you’ve had your head buried in the sand, you’re in a rut, but how do you effect a life change ? How can you change your lifestyle and do something you really want to do for the rest of your life?

Inevitably, most of us will come to the conclusion that it’s easier to carry on the way we  have been going because we don’t know, or can’t see, a way out – a way to something better. It’s impossible to change a complete lifestyle that’s taken 50 years or so to develop. Isn’t it?

Perhaps not.

Picture if you will, a pyramid of people with the majority packed into the mid to lower part of the triangle. This portion represents over 75% of the population.
The next 23% represents those who have broken through the barrier and know where they are going. The top three percent are the determined few who have reached for the stars and achieved their dream. We are talking here about the average everyday Joe Bloggs, not the fortunate few who have inherited their wealth.

Oddly, none of this has anything to do with happiness or satisfaction. These sensations may last for awhile but, for many who have achieved, or are achieving, their life’s goals, they are no happier than those below them in the pyramid – their joy was in the travel to the top.

Please do not go away taking these percentages as gospel. The figures are based on informed opinion and study – no one can say exactly, but every country has its surveys and statistics and these figures are a fairly useful guideline, an average. The interesting thing is that this same guideline/average applies to most other areas in life.

Take as an example those at the bottom of the pyramid and those at the top. The `have-nots’ are far in excess of the `haves.’ For example, in the US today over 46 million people live on the poverty line and, according to the 2010 figures, 3.1 million have between them 11.6 trillion dollars. According to the 2010 Census Bureau, the USA has a population of  nearly 309 million. Work that pyramid out and you will see some common denominators.

The question is – Why the gap? What makes one man destined for riches and another for less?

Remember, happiness does not come into the equation. Happiness is a state of mind that everyone, rich, comfortable or poor, can enjoy.

I will endeavour now to list a few reasons for the gap but it will not be complete, simply because many will be classed as `others,’  those without a specific grouping.

The Rich

Group One:
Old money – People born to wealth; royalty; those whose families have for two or more generations reached wealth status.
GroupTwo:

Those who had a dream, who took risks, and worked tirelessly and determinedly to achieve them. A few did it dishonestly and some at the cost of marriage and family life. But success was their goal, regardless of the cost.
Group Three
:
Luck money – winners of lotteries; beneficiaries of another’s wealth.

Mr and Mrs Average:
The hard-working middle, who strive to pay off their mortgage and educate their children while saving for retirement and the life change they hope it will bring.
Group One:
Happy to be looked after by the government. Unmotivated, often of a negative  nature.
Group Two:

Trying hard to do things right but often luck is against them. Often discouraged but ready to try again. Sometimes find themselves going around in circles.
Group Three:

The young and sometimes not so young individual who wants to succeed so sets goals, stepping-stones to success. They dream of a better life ahead and know they have to plan for it. They want success and are willing to work hard, take risks, educate and motivate themselves, to achieve it.

To sum up, we all need to define what it is we want for our lives and look for ways to achieve the goals we set. If you find your goals difficult to define, see my next post in this lifestyle blog and some tips to help you form a new lifestyle.

Mike Smith

Creating Lifestyle

Right Person, Right Job.

During a recent trip to Greece I was able to make some observations of its people and the similarity to those in other countries that I have visited. As an example, take a shop assistant or a public assistant such as you find in a post office or immigration department. As in every country, besides the friendly ones, we find the unpleasant ones, the power brokers; women and men.

Their job, these people seem to believe, is to make life, for you the public, hell, to intimidate and belittle you where ever possible. I think we have all come across these folk at one time or another; people in the wrong jobs who should never be serving the general public. This type of person believes it’s beneath them to serve; they want to dominate and are generally just plain awful people; a bad advertisement for their shop, post office, or any place dealing with the public.

The wonderful city of Athens has a major post office and, unfortunately, a person with this type of attitude/personality works in the front line. Naming her would be a pleasure but I’m sure, if anyone has used the Athens Post Office service and is reading this, they will probably know exactly who I am referring to.
I am using this person to make a point. It is important that the right people are employed for the right job and, given the right training, equip them to live up to the necessary expectations that make the work flow smoothly and everyone, customers, clerks and management, happy.
In a case where the employee does not suit the job; if the job does not fit with the lifestyle they desire, then they need to quickly look elsewhere to find where they will be happiest, in this case perhaps, working behind the scenes.

Normally a manager or business owner should have the expertise to know if an employee is serving their customers correctly and, if not, retrain them, find another position for them or, if it is obvious they are not going to change, take steps to terminate their employment.
So many times I see an employee who is so detrimental to the business they are working in because a) they haven’t been trained properly or b) it doesn’t matter how much training they are given they are not going to change. If they don’t like people they need to be somewhere else.

was at an airport recently and had time for a coffee and a quick bite before my flight. The young woman serving appeared to hate her job. She definitely was not happy being where she was, serving people, and  was clearly not going to be nice to anyone. Would I ever stop there again? No way! I don’t need a coffee that badly.

Last year I was in Brisbane, Australia, and spent some time trailing after my wife through what seemed like dozens of clothing, shoe, and jewellery shops. In every place we visited, without exception, the assistants were welcoming and friendly with warm smiles and great attitudes towards their customers. Clearly the right people with the right training and attitudes. Would I follow my wife on her Australian shopping sprees again? Most likely. It was a pleasure to see so many people so clearly enjoying their work.

I am into creating the best lifestyle I can for my wife and myself and along the way, with this lifestyle blog and other occupations, I hope also to help others to achieve their dreams and ideals. That does not mean we are all going to have everything we want when we want it but it does mean getting to a place where we can enjoy what we have and make the most of it.

All for now.
Yours in creating lifestyle.
Mike

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