Recession & Investing, a blog about a blog.

I wrote this originally to share a link to a great blog I just read, but this ended up into a mini blog in itself with a few additional pieces of personal advice scattered in between.

All credits to mr-stingy though for his original blog and the flow of inspiration that came from reading it.

View this as a the ‘warm up’ or ‘supporting act’ before the featured performer or headliner comes on stage.

“Still reading, studying, learning & growing.

For newbies in the world of investing, stock markets and starting that online business.

One of the most realistic articles I have read thus far (29th May 2020).

(despite a bit of profanity which I personally felt was unnecessary in getting the brunt of his message across)

What should your main priorities be right now?

Well it’s your job, your existing skills and setting aside that ‘Emergency Financial Fund’ (see initial image), if job or skill fails. Secondly I would personally add Self Improvement skills such as mindset, work ethic, etc, combined with real financial education (..’RICH DAD Poor Dad’ …style).

Self improvement and education is a life long learning process but once you have at least established a starting block level of knowledge and skill then you can commence your ‘Entrepeneural Journey’ while you continue to learn and grow through experience, because as Robert Kiyosaki continually emphasizes in his books ‘you learn by your mistakes’, ‘you win some and you learn from some’, if you know why something went wrong and learn from it, you won’t make that same mistake again. You only really lose when you give up.

Remember we are talking about capital that is left over after putting away your emergency fund (see initial image). Unless you have acquired a very good knowledge of how to use debt effectively then it is safer to avoid going into unnecessary debt to accomplish your ventures. That would also nullify somewhat the original emergency fund that you had set aside if you defaulted on your lean. (see initial image)

There is a fine line between being blinded by optimism and being guided by a realistic viewpoint. You need to take any and all possible outcomes into consideration.

Success can be equally dangerous as failure if you are not grounded and prepared. It’s not just about creating a sustainable and constant cash flow.  In the end our primary goal in striving for financial freedom is to be happy. That can only be accomplished when our purpose and goals include and center around attaining physical, mental, emotional and spiritual prosperity.

A state of being that can keep us afloat even when the money doesn’t.”

Oh yeah the link to “mr-stingy” original blog that I wanted to share with you!

https://www.mr-stingy.com/invest-recession-depression/

Image: maitree rimthong – Pexels

https://www.pexels.com/@444156

The face mask – to protect or control ?

When the initial threat of the Covid-19 infection entered Europe I automatically started practicing ‘social distancing’ to the extent that I prematurely stopped all my fully paid for dance lessons that I was attending and I stopped going to salsa parties. I was not so much afraid of getting infected myself. I was more frightened of me being responsible for any initial infection amongst my family, friends and work colleagues thereby putting them and their livelihoods in unnecessary danger.

However I was also initially against the wearing of face masks in public due to the terrible shortage in the hospital and caregiving sectors. Wearing a mask on the street seemed like a selfish act taking it away from those who needed it the most in the front line battle against this disease. Additionally the official policy on national and international levels such as the W.H.O. repeatedly told us that wearing a face mask in public served no real purpose. But now public health policy has changed advising us to wear face masks in public in general. The new slogan being

‘Wearing a facemask is not for your protection it is for others’

When you wear a mask it shows your solidarity and concern for others around you because you may have already been infected without showing any symptoms. We have now entered a situation where we begin to feel guilty and selfish if we don’t wear one.

However for some strange reason I am now having difficulty with this line of reasoning and the fact that this is going to become a part of my daily attire in general public life.

One reason has to do with what they told us initially when they obviously knew otherwise.  The reasoning behind the ‘little white lie’ being that they had to maintain this viewpoint to protect the rapidly diminishing supply does not change the fact that it was ‘a lie’ or just basic misinformation coming from our official sources. It does not seem to be a very good way to build and maintain trust  with an audience. It also shows how much confidence and trust they have in the general public. They do not believe in the common good spirit of the community as a whole in a crisis situation. However the facts have clearly proven otherwise. There has been a large show of human solidarity, self sacrifice and support for one another with many donations of face masks being given to those institutions that needed it. I personally believe that if they had just told us the simple plain truth in the first place that a large percentage of the general public would have still donated any facemasks that they possesed and refrained from buying and hoarding masks that they did not have.

This only causes us to question current information being published and leaves us wondering about other information that we are not being told.

What adds to our confusion is that unofficial sources and individuals (the so called fake news sources) were advising people to wear masks in public in direct contradiction to official government statements. We are now also hearing of reports of possible manipulation of Covid-19 death rate statistics. If this is true why would anyone want to manipulate these statistics? In our current news climate it almost seems that this virus is responsible for every fatality taking place on the planet right now. Covid-19 is finishing of the job that other illnesses, diseases and basic life expectancy would normally do. It seems that even someone that dies in a car accident is tested for Covid-19 and if he or she is positive then they can add that to the statistics as well. (Note I said ‘it seems’ I am not saying that this has been done)

The psychological fear factor that has been generated by these statistics and constant official news reporting seems to be causing more harm than the virus itself. How can our bodies fight against any disease if it is already riddled with so much fear?

We all need to realise that despite coming into the information age we have now entered the age of misinformation where we cannot automatically accept and trust anything we are being told from any source official or unofficial. We have check, double check and compare. We have the capacity to think and the right to question, especially things that will affect us directly sooner or later.

All of a sudden this mask that was originally designed as a tool of personal safety and protection seems to becoming a tool of control and a symbol of prevention of freedom of speech. Because whenever anyone does questions current government policy or offers alternative solutions many are quickly silenced and censored in the name of public health and safety and avoiding of unnecessary social unrest.

When I observe how some react a horrible gut feeling keeps surfacing within me that says; they have created a monster to validate all these unprecedented restrictions of our basic human rights and freedoms. Lockdown, control of our movements, our activity, social and family interaction. They have created a virus that can be used as a scapegoat for the long overdue global recession that is now inevitable while destroying so many jobs, livelihoods and businesses that will make millions of people completely dependant on the state for financial and physical survival. They have literally taken away our fundamental human rights and freedoms turning this facemask into a symbol of mass control instead of its original purpose of personal protection.

You don’t like wearing a mask? No problem the vaccine is coming. Yes if the the mask does not work they can always just vaccinate us into submission.

Believe it or not I am not totally against vaccinations I have personally been vaccinated and I allowed my children to be vaccinated as well. If I base my limited knowledge of history concerning life expectancy and health then I feel that the development and science of medicine has played a major role in our general and long term health and well being. My main concern and issue is with the vast amounts of profits that are associated with and generated with the development and sale of vaccines. Profits that go to a very small group of people. What initially served as a pure noble desire to improve and save lives has now been tainted by big business and profits. Money and profits nurtures greed, dishonesty and corruption and infect the program negatively.

In addition to this is the complete exemption from liability. Based on some reports concerning vaccine programs in various countries where groups of people including children have unwittingly served as guinea pigs for the testing of vaccines that have not only failed but initiated horrific side effects. The sponsors and promoters being completely free from any legal or moral responsibility.

I also do not understand why very little attention is being given to how we can possibly reduce at least the severity of symptoms by taking care of ourselves physically, emotionally and psychologically. Yes I am talking with a certain amount of ignorance as regards how these viruses attack us and that sometimes the severity is related to an overreaction of our immune system. We still have so much more to learn about these viruses but we also still have so much more to learn about the full effectiveness and side effects of existing vaccines never mind the development of new ones. Finding the perfect balance is no easy task but this should never justify imbalance, a seemingly  blatant refusal to examine alternative solutions and remedies and with seeming disregard for our fundamental human rights, freedom of choice and freedom of movement.

I hope I am wrong. I do not want to believe that individuals or organisations would purposely do something like this. Whatever the real truth is we found ourselves in a situation now where we do need to take precautionary measures now and support any long term sustainable remedy, treatment or even a vaccine in the future that has been thorougly tested in a ethically correct way. A place where I can fully get my head around wearing a face mask in public because the emphasis is on ….

protection and not control.

I don’t want to influence, I want to inspire.

I don’t want to manipulate, I want to motivate.

I don’t want to scare, I want to encourage.

I don’t want to control, I want to cooperate.

I don’t want to resist, I just want to understand.

Photo credits: cottonbro in Pexel https://instagram.com/cottonbro?igshid=7lf67udkzo9z

The lockdown awakening.

Image by Queven from Pixabay

Just thinking aloud again

When this whole lockdown pandemic is over and we can finally fully grieve and mourn the hundreds of thousands of victims that have been abruptly taken away from us, while we breath less polluted air and as we stare into clearer smog free blue skies, accompanied by a live musical orchestra of feathered musicians. …. (known as birds in the local lingo) singing amongst the various trees that are now in full bloom, while feeling the warm (but slightly less harmful) rays of the sun as it touches, penetrates and gradually starts to tan our somewhat bleak looking skin ……..

…..after being in confinement in our homes where we were forced to think and meditate over our insane and hectic lifestyles, with some of us finally waking up to the reality of what we have been doing to this planet all these decades, and realising the vanity and fragility of the very luxuries and riches we were striving for, realising how we were also contributing to the pollution of our atmosphere not only with plastic cups but also with our constant desire and thirst to travel and explore every accessible part of this globe…….

……..being forced to realise how little we really do need to be truly happy and content despite being confined to our fixed national, county, city and town governed geographical locations, scattered across this ever growing virally infected global planet of ours……….

………… that happiness for some involved just being with their spouse, family or extended family members, best friend or pet. That being able to possess, practice, listen or express their faith in prayer, or spirituality through meditation,  or listening to their endless personal Spotify playlists or better still being able to play, write and compose new music through their beloved musical instrument or instruments. Or just being able to go for a ride, walk or run within their local community, parks or immediate neighbouring countryside that somehow  still gave them a feeling of being that fearless traveling explorer that has just discovered a new world and continent….just down the road from his her her house….but without the sacrifice of time, traveling expenses, bagage, passport and the cost of that tent, hotel or luxury holiday resort. Some experiencing full satisfaction by being totally engrossed in their domestically based botanical garden with pots full of tomatoes, herbs and spices claiming nearly two thirds of their balcony space. 

…..while for others the definition of happiness means ……… a lifelong supply of toilet paper, coffee, and a high speed internet connection.

….but why am I getting this feeling that when we are finally set free and by some miracle some of us can have the opportunity to go back to our old jobs, lives and routine…….. that some of us will still hesitate …….and that some of us …….won’t go back…..

…..don’t mind me just thinking aloud…… it applies to me just as much as anyone else ……..it’s just a feeling , it’s just a vibe in the moment …..that will probably disappear …..a feeling that will quickly dispersing back into the thin….. newly polluted atmosphere.

 

Phone lover

At home alone and so much to do,

and yet out I go, in search of you,

Who you are, I do not know,

But find you I will, wherever I go,

My wants are small, my needs not much,

I look, a smile if not a touch,

a passing gaze, to show we exist

a look in the eyes, as if we have kissed,

But you passed me by, you saw me not,

Your phone is your love,

and that I forgot.

The Mindful Travelor

I will quickly add that this has nothing to do with how we can reduce “Global warming”, through the burning of less fossils fuels, or reducing pollution and waste caused by global transportation and tourism. Or maybe it could have some influence on how much we fossils fuels we still would burn when we get there??

Just thinking out aloud again, writing personal observations combined with one or two famous quotes and a change in thinking that has been embraced by some. Its based on a simple observation how SOME people seem to be ticking of their bucket list of “must see” travel destinations before they ….

“kick the bucket”

I repeat SOME travellors seem to have raced around the entire globe

“in 90 days “

while actually not taking the time to really experience being there.

This is combined with another observation how SOME people live their journeys to their destinations. The do not seem to understand or appreciate the very wise words of

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Its the not the Destination, It’s the journey.

I think he is telling us that instead of transporting ourself several hours ahead of time thinking about everything we plan to do when we get there that we should come out of that mental state of thinking and return to the present moment at hand, the journey. Although we are in motion, moving forward we should try to stand still in the moment that is currently taken place before us.

Yes its based on the philosophy of “Mindfulness” that encourages us to live in the “now” moment observing, savouring and fully engaging in every positive experience that is crossing our paths.

Yes our vacation actually starts right from the moment we leave our home.

We need to sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.

Take the time to enjoy the scenary passing by, if its a night flight or journey and we are really tired then show gratitude even if it is only to ourselves for the opportunity of sleep. If we can’t sleep then lets try and connect with our fellow passengers on board, spouse, siblings, our children, best friend or even that complete stranger sitting next to us. So many interesting and intriguing conversations have developed from such spontaneous interaction with each party sharing their own personal unique life story and experiences. These conversations have sometimes lead to the development of long lasting friendships, friendships that were established hours before the the plane landed at the airport or the train or bus arrived at the station.

And when we do finally arrive at our destination do we take the time to savour that specific moment. We are at the starting block of the destination part of our vacation it is still not over, we have several days or weeks to look forward to. Its a wonderful moment to remember savour and store in our hearts and minds.

Admittedly it can be very difficult to fully relax when this is probably our first and only visit to this particular “Port of Call” We may have a huge list of places to visit and activities to do in a very limited time scale.

We have one of three choices;

Stick to the plan, do not get side tracked, do not slow down or rest up, there is no time, we must be determined to keep to the timetable. We have to get the maximum value of money spent and time sacrificed in relation to the number of monuments, landmarks, breathtaking scenaries and action packed activities that will take place and that will all be perfectly recorded, stored and shared on our Instagram accounts.

But don’t worry because when we get back home we will have a whole year to relax, view and savour the moments on our smartphones, tablets and laptops.

Or maybe we are a simply an inbetweener. (I know I just made that word up) We want to see some of the local attractions and landmarks but we have very limited interest, enthusiame and involvement because we are completely shattered and all we really want to do is “crash out” with only every now and then making some physical effort to get up, stagger to the pool or sea to experience some form of partial or complete liquid submergance. Its either that or we just wanted to go for a pee. We could have stayed in our own country or county and just booked into Sunparks. However Sunparks backgrounds just don’t “cut it” on Instagram, thats just “not done”

Or we can choose to ignore a large part of our “to visit” and “to do” list and just “visit” and “do” what my so called Minimalistic method of travelling allows. When we visit or do something we open our heart and minds fully to that place or that experience being fully present in the moment.

When we are standing in that Roman Arena or Aztec Temple or Egyptian Pyramid we close our eyes (figuratively speaking) traveling back in time (yes now we can leave the present for a moment) and imagine ourself actually being there surrounded by spectators that are cheering on the gladiators, we imagine the smell of fear of the prisoners and can feel the suspense in the air. Or maybe we imagine the hustle and bussle of an ancient market packed with produce, livestock and ornaments spread out on tables and stalls before us.

We slowly climb that one cliff at sunset and embrace the panoramic master piece being painted across the horizon in front of us.

We strip half or fully naked and dive into that one laggoon despite the fact that there are several more unique laggoons and waterfalls to see further up the trail that we will never get to see because we could not resist the first one we encountered . But we simply don’t care because we have this one laggoon all for ourselves at this moment in time, today, now.

The fact is, the vast majority of us will never get to travel and experience even one tenth of this planets natural wonders and beauties and I question even those that did if they were really had enough time to fully be present preserving those moments in their heart and mind, instead of just on their smartphones or cameras.

However I do recognise and acknowlegde that everyone is different. For some thousands of brief moment is enough and fully satisfying for them.

Which leads me to the following;

“Each to their own”

“If thats what makes you happy then continue doing that way”

And in fact “who am I” to question anyones way of doing things?

And admittedly this alternative slower pace of travelling means one will see even less of this beautiful planet.

But I will purposely choose this method of travelling because,

according to the Minimalistic lifestyle,

Less is more!!

From breakfast cereal to spirituality

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I do not consider myself a health freak or a sport addict but when I learn that something is good for you I try it and when I learn that something is bad for you I endeavour to avoid it. My eating habits have changed over the years and will probably continue to do so and as regards sport I think I engage in it on a daily basis in one way at work because it’s not about extremes but simply about keeping yourself active on a daily basis. However I do engage in real sport as well on a regular basis. Although no guarantee in itself I do believe it helps in reducing the risks of certain types of illnesses.

There are other equally important factors involved that if ignored can adversely affect our chances of long term health. Study and research in these additional areas is an ongoing journey of discovery but also a realisation of things that we subconsciously already knew and  already applied in our daily lives.

Why do we find it so important to satisfy this internal desire to be socialble and connect with other beings that starts with our own parents and siblings and develops into searching for even more connection outside that circle with friends and relatives and finally resulting in searching for that special relationship of love and connection generally satisfied in the opposite sex. When these fundamental needs our not adequately satisfied we tend to suffer health wise with one aspect generally leading to another, from emotional to mental to physically issues.

If you have found a good relationship do not take it for granted. Unfortunately many of us do not entertain that luxury but we still have hope.  We can still endeavour to maintain good ties with our existing family and friends that can bring out the best in us and our self worth in a positive way.

Also the satisfaction in the act of giving and helping others as a opposed to the ‘selfish me’ first lifestyle has really helped ones to find a positive up building purpose in their lives that in turn contributes to good health. It does not always have to be something spectacular though, even just ‘giving’ some of our precious time and personal attention can do wonders for another human being. It seems fairly obvious that the results we witness and the gratitude received from our efforts can only produce positive health benefits in ourselves. The inner emotional joy in our soul can only have positive effects on our mental well being which in turn can only be good for are physical health even though we may at times be exhausted from the physical exertion involved. I am thinking of that expression ‘Hard work never killed anyone’ .

These things can help us in our goal to build and maintain a positive emotional and mental attitude in life, whatever are situation maybe while at the same time growing instead of stagnating in self pity, continually endeavouring to move forward making positive changes in our lives.

 Art, music, culture, traditions, travel, dance or sport. Have you discovered your personal passion yet, something that touches your heart and soul every time you see hear or actively participate in it? Even if we discover and start these things later on in life the benefits to our health our invaluable due to the deep inner joy and satisfaction experienced. 

And then there is ‘Spirituality’ something that everyone has to decide for themselves whether they choose to recognise it or not and respecting everyone else’s choice in this matter. For many it has played a very important role in their general well being in addition to the positive effect they radiate to those around them.

I don’t know how I got from sharing a photo of my breakfast cereal to talking about basic spirituality. I guess I just wanted to say;

“Take good care of yourself, your body, your life and well being but remember that there is a lot more involved than just a healthy diet and frequent exercise.”