Showing posts with label Goals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Goals. Show all posts

How Becoming A Cybersecurity Professional Will Help You Get The Life You Want

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While “hustling” and starting a business might seem like the best ways to make money, for many, the best strategy is to find a decent career and pursue it. Your choice of career, however, makes a massive difference to the kind of job opportunities available to you, which, in turn, determines how much you’ll ultimately earn. 


If you’re considering a career, then cybersecurity should be at the top of your list. Not only is the work itself surprisingly enjoyable, but it is also one of the most “in demand” jobs in the US right now. 


Did you know that in the past year alone, demand for cybersecurity professionals rocketed by more than 330,000? Companies now know that they need to protect their data and systems, but are struggling to find people to fill the positions.


The effects of this heightened demand are remarkable. Firms are willing to pay top dollar for people with the right skills to protect their enterprise. Those in the world of cybersecurity are able to earn a massive premium over other skilled professionals with equal qualifications, simply because the area is hot right now. To put the whole thing into perspective, 42 percent of organizations are looking to fill information security more than any other job. 


Do you want a better life? If so, take a look at this infographic on the opportunities for cybersecurity professionals. It shows how cybersecurity is snowballing and the increased demand from firms in both the US and across the world. 


Infographic by Norwich University





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Why Our World Would Basically End If Books Disappeared

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For so long, books have been an integral part of most people’s lives - but what if they didn’t exist? A common pastime for many, books help enrich our world and are a powerful source of relaxation as well as escapism. Nothing beats curling up with a brilliant book and a warm drink on a cold and blustery day or picking up something thought-provoking to satisfy our curiosity and expand our knowledge. In short, books are amazing for our mind, body, and our soul, but can often go unnoticed in a world that is dominated by technology. What makes them so universally loved and why are they still so relevant in the digital world?

Books Encompass Knowledge
Books are a learning gateway and a foundation of endless knowledge that provides us with an understanding of the world around us. From a young age, books provide us with essential building blocks in life including literacy, social and communication skills. They preserve all knowledge of the past and are a reminder of how far humanity has come. Books bring awareness to pressing issues in society and enlighten us about other cultures. Without books, our intelligence would certainly not be so advanced, and we would be living in a very bleak world.



Books Make a Huge Impact on Our Lives
The power of words can be often underestimated. Whether it’s a psychological thriller, a crime novel, or trending biography, unforgettable, profound books present us with an array of emotions that can move us and broaden our minds and perspectives. The works of others, whether fictional or non-fictional, can often inspire us to make changes in our lives and can ultimately stay with us forever. Aiming to finish a book gives us a focus and goal to complete, and they also have the incredible physical ability to lower stress levels, and can even deflect unwanted feelings of negativity.

Books Sharpen Our Minds
Books are capable of more than just entertainment – they’re vital tools to living a healthier lifestyle. Since books require concentration, reading can essentially count as a workout for your brain. Studies have revealed that reading stimulates our brains and can improve our cognitive functioning, especially the part within the brain that is responsible for focusing, critical analysis, as well as our memory. In fact, studies have suggested that engaging in reading regularly encourages a delayed decline in key mental capacities, which can potentially result in a longer life.

Books Enhance Our Imagination
When you open a book, you open up a completely new universe - reading is an immersive and fulfilling experience that pulls us out of our usual day to day thoughts. When you’re nose deep into a book, magic happens and everything else around you seems to fade. Endless amounts of worlds and characters that you meet in books help to spark your imagination through the visualization of what you read. Reading can additionally strengthen your writing ability and creative skills – who knows, reading more books could help you become the next top bestselling author or prolific academic writer!

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Easy and Convenient Ways to Build Self-Confidence

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So many people put their success down to the fact that they are confident and believe in themselves. If you feel as though your confidence is holding you back, then you’ll be glad to know that there are a few things that you can do to try and turn things around for yourself.

8 Questions to Ask Yourself to Design The Life Of Your Dreams

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With the new year upon us, it is the perfect time to reevaluate where you are in life and where you want to go.

Future Planning: An Introduction To The FIRE Movement

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For most people, their career path is very simple. They go to college, find a job after graduating, and slowly but consistently work their way up the career ladder over the course of the next 30 or so years. Then, usually by the time they are in their 60s, they are able to retire. This is the conventional career route that has been a staple of society for decades; but it’s a route that a group of people are now challenging. 

Introducing FIRE 

FIRE stands for “financial independence, retire early”. The driving force behind the idea is that retirement is not something that people should have to wait until their 60s to achieve; instead, people focusing on FIRE look to retire as soon as possible, with some achieving this goal in their 30s (though between 40 and 50 is more standard). 

Frugality is a big part of the FIRE lifestyle; in many ways, the movement is strongly related to anti-consumerism, and people choosing to spend more time enjoying the simpler things in life rather than working in order to spend. 

How is FIRE possible?

There are a few additional considerations anyone contemplating FIRE will need to keep in mind - which we will discuss in more depth soon - but the core essentials are aggressive saving and investment. People looking to achieve FIRE will spend as little of their income as possible - saving 75% of income is far from uncommon - and will instead choose to invest. Over time, the combination of savings and compounded interest from investments results in people having a large enough sum of money to retire and be able to live on the income from investments alone, rather than relying on a salary. 

How much is considered sufficient to retire on?


Most people aiming for FIRE aim to save 25 times their anticipated annual living expenses. So, if you were to estimate that you would need to spend $60,000 per year, then you would need to save $1,500,000. The x25 rule is thought to be sufficient to allow people to withdraw 4% from their savings to meet their living costs during their retirement.

Is it really possible to save that much money?

While the idea of setting so much money aside may initially seem outlandish, it is a goal that many people are able to reach. Admittedly it’s not a short-term goal - without a lottery win or two, no one is going to achieve FIRE in just a few years  - but if you’d like to retire earlier than expected, then it can be done. 

How can you get started on the path to FIRE?

The path to FIRE will always be slightly different for every person who chooses to walk it, as everyone starts from different financial positions and with slightly different goals in terms of how much they want to be able to save. However, the general steps needed to reach FIRE are as follows: 

#1 - Cost cutting 

Cost cutting is crucially important to those looking to pursue FIRE for two reasons. Firstly, FIRE requires a much higher savings rate than the 5-10% of income that most people aim for, so outgoings will have to reduce to allow this to be possible. Secondly, when actually retired, living a low-cost, frugal lifestyle is incredibly important to ensuring funds are sustainable, so it’s a good idea to get into the habit as soon as possible.

You will therefore need to go through all of your expenses and see where you can cut back. Be stringent here: anything but essentials should at least be considered for cutting if you’re dedicated to reaching FIRE. For areas of your budget that cannot be cut entirely - such as groceries, insurance payments, and so on - look for ways to reduce the amount you spend instead.

#2 - Debt repayment

FIRE requires people to save and invest as much of their income as they possibly can, while spending as little as possible - a situation that is difficult if you are carrying credit card or student loan debt. These debts will continue to accrue interest for as long as they are outstanding, which means that there’s more money being spent servicing debt than there is being saved into a potential retirement pot - which is obviously less than ideal. 

As a result, the extra funds found after cost cutting should be put towards clearing debt rather than saving for retirement; by doing this, potentially hundreds (or even thousands, depending on the size of the debt) of dollars in interest can be saved and diverted to an early retirement fund instead. 

#3 - Mortgage repayment 

Owning a property is outright is an important part of FIRE, as having to pay a mortgage (or, worse still, rent to a landlord) will inevitably deplete savings significantly and reduce the amount available to live on when retired. As a result, ensuring that your mortgage is paid off should be your next focus when you have cleared all debts; there are various methods available when it comes to paying off a mortgage, so explore these and decide which will work best for you.  

#4 - Investing 

With your mortgage paid off, you can now consider your investment options. Within the FIRE community, low-cost index funds are perhaps the most popular, but experiences and preferences do vary, so it’s advisable to seek the assistance of a financial advisor who can help decide which investments are the right choice for your specific goals. 

A quick note: Above, we have suggested that mortgage repayment and then investment is the best choice for those looking to achieve FIRE - but this is a hotly-debated topic within the FIRE community. 

Some people believe that investments and mortgage payments should be done at the same time (so interest can be earned on investments during the mortgage repayment), while others say, as we have, it’s best to focus all funds in paying off your mortgage first so that this important step can be achieved as soon as possible. 

The decision, however, is entirely yours: if you would like to split your focus, choosing to invest and pay off your mortgage at the same time, then you can do so - the route to FIRE is different for everyone, so go with what you believe to best the best course of action for you. No two routes to FIRE are the same!

Common questions people ask about FIRE 


FIRE is such an unusual idea that it is natural people may have further questions about how it works, so below we’ve sought to answer the most commonly-asked questions...

#1 - Is it possible to retire early and still pay college tuition for my children? 

Yes, but it’s complicated; there’s a helpful guide here that parents should find useful when deciding how to factor college tuition into their FIRE plans. 

#2 - Is FIRE for me if I love my job and don’t want to stop working?

Absolutely! Many people who reach FIRE continue to work even when, mathematically speaking, they do not absolutely need to. The goal of FIRE is to simply have the financial independence to choose to work, rather than having to work out of financial necessity. 

#3 - Is property ownership an essential for FIRE? 

Realistically, yes - even if you would like to live a nomadic lifestyle (such as travelling the country in an RV) post-retirement. Property is an excellent investment, so even if you’re not intending to live in your current home when you’re retired, it will still be a valuable asset and can contribute to your income if you choose to, for example, rent the property out while you explore the world. 

#4 - Should I try to increase my income in order to reach my goal faster? 

Yes, doing so can be beneficial and is a common choice for many people focused on FIRE. It is usually preferable to try and increase your hours/wage in your day job rather than embarking on a potentially-unreliable side hustle, though you can give this a try if you would prefer to do so and have the time available. 

#5 - What happens to early retirees if the market crashes? 

As we have discussed, FIRE is highly dependent on investments - but, of course, the market can go up as well as down, which could spell trouble for those who are solely reliant on investments for income. This concern is one of the reasons why working with a financial advisor is so important; they will help to diversify risk and ensure that funds are stable even in the event of a market crash. In addition, keeping some savings in cash (as in a high-interest standard savings account; not storing literal cash) can be a good way of protecting against market downswings. 

In conclusion

The FIRE movement definitely goes against convention, but can be an incredibly positive step for those who choose to commit to it. We hope the above has provided food for thought and, if you decide FIRE is the right choice for you and your family, we hope the journey is as smooth as it can possibly be.


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What Is Enough? How Do You Know When You Have "It"?

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Over a month ago was my birthday and I wrote a post On the Verge of 40. In it, I describe my feelings of insecurity, doubt, worry, and generally being unsure.  My vow was to focus on feeling that I am enough as I am.  I have actually, to my surprise, thought of this every day and tried to squash out those feelings of inadequacy whenever they pop up.  Or I've tried to figure what the root cause of what that feeling is and attempted to rectify it.  

The Real Way To Get Into Crafting

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Crafting is one of the best ways for people to spend time indoors. If you have often thought about getting into this yourself, then there is no good reason not to.

Journey to Find Life's Purpose - Part 3

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FINDING YOUR PURPOSE THROUGH WRITING


Most of us don’t enjoy writing. A lot of people would much rather ponder things, but writing can be a very powerful tool. Clearly, if you have read my blog, you know I am not of that persuasion.  I have written posts on why I think everyone should have a journal, how to motivate yourself to journal daily,  and how to nurture your creative mind with journaling.  


Journey to Finding Life's Purpose - Part 1

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Do you wake up each day dreading the idea of spending another day at work? You might even feel the need to be a part of something bigger and more meaningful. If you’ve failed to discover and build your life around your life purpose, you might feel dissatisfied with your life. Determining the purpose of your life can be a simple process.


Journey to Finding Life's Purpose - Part 2

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QUESTIONS TO REVEAL THE PURPOSE OF YOUR LIFE


It’s impossible to find your purpose without a degree of self-reflection. Answers are the result of asking questions. Asking the right questions will provide the answers you seek. 

Happiness - More Than Thinking Positive Thoughts


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While the dictionary defines happiness as “the state of being happy” which gives you very little information about the idea or feeling of, or state of happiness. Let’s look at some different things that happiness can be, but realize that in truth, happiness is in the mind of the beholder.



Making Sure Your Kids are Getting Sufficient Exercise

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When we think of exercise, many of us automatically think of our own exercise regimes. We think of heading to the gym, meeting up with a personal trainer, and attending different classes, but adults aren’t the only ones who need to exercise - kids need to exercise too!

Lack of Time is Lack of Priorities

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Time Management

At the end of the day, it’s all about time management. When it comes to time management, we don’t want to admit we don't have it all together. It’s one of the hardest issues to face and can be a challenge. However, the good news is it’s very doable.

How to Get Better at Managing Priorities

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Managing Life Areas

In order to live a whole, full, and complete life, you need to break your life down into categories. What are the categories that are most important to you? Which ones are you most successful in? Where is there a breakdown and you need to recreate?

The Focus and Action Required to Achieve Your Dream Life Now

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Focus on Your Goals

Meditate on your goals. If you’re like most dreamers, your dreams are so big and so vast, you think about them and just as quickly, you put them aside because they are too big and too unrealistic. Rather than look at the big dramatic picture of your dreams, meditate on your goals.

6 Tips For Achieving The Life Of Your Dreams

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Self-Sabotaging Thoughts That Hinder Happiness

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Most people go through times when they have trouble getting their thoughts to align with their intentions. When that happens, it will hinder your happiness. Your thoughts can get in the way of your happiness because these types of thoughts are focusing on what’s wrong, what’s missing, or the negativity of the situation instead of the positives. 

Success Does Not Fuel Happiness

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It’s easy to simplify happiness and claim that it’s obvious that successful people are happy. However, if you really interviewed 100 successful people, you may be surprised that a large percentage of them are not as happy as you think they ought to be. The fact is, you can be a millionaire, have a wonderful spouse, great kids, and everything you think you want and still not be happy. The truth is happiness fuels success.

·         Happiness Leads to More Productivity – When people are happy with the work, they do they tend to be willing to do it a lot more, even for free. Assuming other needs (food, shelter, health) are met a happy person can find joy doing the most mundane things because they can focus on outcomes instead of just what they are doing.

·         Happiness Leads to Higher Profits – In companies that keep their employees happy by offering a living wage, benefits, and a flexible schedule the profits tend to be a lot higher. One reason is that when a person feels respected in their job even if the work is hard, they are happier about doing it.

·         Happiness Leads to Stability – When people are happy, they tend to be a lot more stable, stick to tasks longer, and are more likely to complete an assignment. In addition, they tend to job hop a lot less. This is one reason smart employers know that by making work a happy place they can reduce turn over.

·         Happiness Leads to a Better Work Ethic – Most people think of work ethic as something you must suffer to experience, but for happy people, they tend to stick to their jobs longer and work even harder. The main reason is that they have the energy to do it and can envision the outcomes more positively.

·         Happiness Is Not About Wealth – Everyone knows someone who has plenty of money but is not happy and maybe even hateful. They seem to have everything but happiness. Because of this fact, it’s clear that being happy doesn’t always directly correlate to the circumstances you find yourself in regarding your bank account balance.

·         Happiness Colors the Lens by Which You See Life – The surprising truth about happiness is that if you practice happiness it will begin to affect how you see everything in the world. You’ll be able to pick out the most positive things no matter the situation.

·         Happiness is About Today – Happiness is really all about today. If you’re happy today, you’re more likely to eat right, move more, get your work done, and do everything well. Naturally, that is going to affect the future too.

·         Happiness is a Mindset – It’s hard to imagine it is true, but it is. Happiness is about your mindset. Thankfully, with work, you can train your mindset to be happier and more positive despite your current circumstances.


While bad things do happen to good people and can bring them down, the truth is, happiness can be experienced by most anyone regardless of where they are in life right now in terms of their success. It just requires that you accept that you can be happy, right now, without anything changing while also developing plans to make changes.

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Prioritize Your Life: Make More Time for Achieving Your Goals and Enjoying Life

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For many people, it seems like life has two options: achieving goals and enjoying life. Neither one of them seems as if they are one hundred percent fulfilled. There seems to be a broad spectrum on the scale of go-getters and over-achievers versus those who slack in all departments.

Is True Happiness Possible?

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Many people who have struggles in life often pooh-pooh happiness and like to claim that true happiness is not even possible.  The truth is there are different levels of happiness that you can experience in your life. It’s not a straight line. There are ups and downs that you will experience all throughout life but whether you are happy or not is all about your feelings.

You Have It in You

Just by virtue of the fact that you’re a human being and you can experience feelings, happiness being one of them, you know that true happiness does exist. You can probably write down many days and things that have brought happiness to your life over the years since you were born up until today.  If you are having trouble remembering these, start writing down one thing a day that makes you happy.  Even one word or one sentence can helpf boost your mood.  You can read more about journaling to find happy thoughts here.  

Look Around You

It’s amazing but while it’s easy to say that people cannot be happy unless they have their basic needs met. You’ll find that there are people all around you who do not have their needs met but who are very happy. Evidence suggests that lottery winners, those that inherit wealth, and the wealthiest Americans are, in fact, not happier than your average Joe.  More can be read about this on Marketwatch.com.  

It’s Not About Stuff

If you look at a list of the happiest countries in the world, you will realize that being happy isn’t about the stuff you have. The happiest people right now happen to live in Denmark. Most people who live there pay high taxes, live in small homes and tend to not be as consumer-driven as people in the USA, for example. But the USA is 17 on the list. That shows that happiness is not about stuff.

It’s Not Even About Goals

You may think that happiness is about reaching your goals too. But, it’s not. If you often say things like “I’ll be happy when…” then it’s not likely you will be happy. You can be happy today, before you reach your goals, while you’re on the path to reach those goals. It’s honestly more about the day to day living and not moments.

It’s Not About Your Circumstances

Now, of course, there are events or situations that are devastating.  However, for happy people, even the worst events will not make them unhappy at least not permanently. A happy person usually has the skills to navigate things about their circumstances. Dr. Gillian Mandich, a happiness expert, states that our circumstances account for only 10 percent of our happiness.

True happiness is about accepting that you can experience it, plus understanding what it really means. A happy person isn’t going to be the same level of happy 24/7, 365 days a year. When you observe that people who are sick with cancer are happy, that children who aren’t getting enough to eat are happy, and people living in huts in Africa are also happy it makes you realize that you can be happy too.


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