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The Inspiration of Children

May 19, 2017 by  
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Kids, Kids, Kids! What would the world be without them? The older I get the more I’m impressed with and love kids. We can all learn so much from them, whether it’s observing the super-fast learning ability of a baby or watching teenagers and their progression in this world. The month of May is so very significant for me in terms of kids, both in a good way and a very, very bad way.

Many years ago, my precious, wonderful, and beautiful daughter, Kristin, died from an eating disorder and, hopefully, passed peacefully on into another existence. I can’t put in words how that tragic event hit me, I’ve said many times since that you never get over losing your child, you just learn to deal with it! That horrific event happened on May 2nd.

But then 5 years ago, also on May 2nd, our family was blessed with the birth of another grandson, Oliver Haroldsen. To add to my May blessings, his mother is expected to deliver twin girls later this month.

A few nights ago, on May 17th, so much of the events of this significant month was brought back to my mind as I presented the Kristin Haroldsen memorial scholarships to 5 incredible Cottonwood High School senior girls. I was so very impressed, not only by their high GPA’s of 3.7 and above, but by how many other activities and achievements they were involved with. They also gave so much of their time and efforts to so many charitable causes. Their hard work and generosity is something we can all learn from and aim to duplicate.

Giving to others, whether it’s money, time, or physical help, not only is a great benefit and aid to these people, but improves and lifts the world including giving so much satisfaction, pleasure and happiness to the person who does the giving. Even a small gift, such as my practice of randomly giving kids a $2-dollar bill gives me a real mental boost. I usually say to the parent “Hey, this is a lucky $2-dollar bill; you see I’m an investor and that $1,000 dollar smile on your kid’s face is my reward.” And then I add, “Don’t you agree with me that that’s a darn good return on my investment?”

Bottom line … I think we all should remember to give, give, and give to others because, hey, if you do that everybody is a winner and gets a great big, fat return.

A Time to Give, a Time to Live

December 20, 2014 by  
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What a great time of the year!  You can feel something different is in the air.  Of course, that great old Christmas music helps encourage that feeling of giving, loving and gratitude.  Whereas it’s true that the human brain craves novelty and unique experiences, our minds are also soothed and comforted by the familiar sights and sounds that the holiday season brings us.

I’m pretty sure you are like me, and most other people on this planet, in that you get that warm comforting feeling when you give a gift, whether it’s something fancy or a simple thing or you are giving of your time by doing something special for someone else.  Because, yes, to give is to live more fully.

You may have seen on the news recently, where some anonymous person gives away, at Christmas time, $100,000 dollars in $100 dollar bills to people who look like they are down on their luck and really are in need.  This year, he did it in cooperation with the police force.  And he has the officers give his gifts out.

As I watched how it all played out on a TV spot this year, I was quite emotional.  What the cops do is drive around looking for older, banged up and aging cars with people driving that look like that they don’t have a dime to their name.  Then they pull the people over as if they are going to ticket them.  Of course the drivers, as they see the cop walking up alongside the car, are wondering what they did wrong and as they roll down the window, filmed by body cams the cops were wearing, you can see the great distress on their faces. The drivers were obviously distressed. Some were defensive, others belligerent and others were simply and quietly upset.  But then when the officer reaches in and hands them a $100 dollar bill and says “Merry Christmas”, the drivers face is instantly transformed. Some looked shocked and some even started crying.  One woman said, through her tears, that now she could give her kids a Christmas present when she thought she would not be able to give them anything.

The cops were as touched as the people were by that act of giving, even though it wasn’t their money.  As I watched, I couldn’t help but catch the feeling and the emotions those camera caught and, yes, I teared up a bit myself.

I am pretty darn sure that the more we give, give, give, the more we live, live, live!  I sincerely hope you have a tremendous season of giving and you receive the great rewards that giving gives!  Merry Christmas!

 

Live and Leave a Legacy

October 3, 2014 by  
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The great Arthur Ashe left a wonderful legacy, not so much as you might think from his champion tennis days but more for his amazing kindness, sharing and selfless giving and his gentle warm personality that moved people to accept that every human being is equal. Believe me, back in his early tennis days, black people were not thought of or treated anywhere near equal. In fact, in some areas it was against the law for a white person to play tennis with a black person.

When you read about Arthur Ashe or watch the documentary on his life, you keep seeing these same words over and over to describe him–thoughtful, kind hearted , great role model, warm, gentle, friendly, fair minded and so very concerned about other people. He made a huge difference in the world and is a great example and role model for the rest of us. But you know what? Anyone of us can do similar things if we set our mind to it.  That, believe it or not, brings me to the subject of money.  Arthur Ashe used tennis and the fame he received from that as a lever to do good in the world.  The same thing can be done with money!

Money is neither good nor bad.  I know many people think that money is “the root of all evil” and they claim that this is what the Bible says, but this is not what the bible actually says. It says “the LOVE of money is the root of all evil.”  The real key, of course, is what you do with that money.  If you let money become your god or the end goal in and of itself rather than a means to the end you might well be in big trouble.  I’ve seen this happen many times. Someone will make tons of money and then spend and lavish it all on themselves with high end toys, jewelry, food, drink and drugs and then you see that love of money really does become the root of evil that arises in these people’s lives.

If you want to help humanity for many years to come, way past your own lifetime, then you need to devise a plan that does exactly that.  I’m not saying that you have to have huge amounts of money to leave a great legacy fro mankind but it sure helps. I don’t know about you but working hard to make a lot of money–especially past the point of making enough to just live on–is much easier, seems like less work and is more rewarding when I know that the extra cash and net worth can, and will, be directed to others in need. And not just for the here and now but long after I have checked out of this life. Call it extra motivation, extra energy or whatever you want to call it. It’s real and it can help keep you going.  That ‘legacy’ can also spill over into the future for many, many years after you are gone and may even get bigger as time rolls on.

Try to pretend that this is the only world there will ever be–as in there is no after or next life.  If that were the case–and it might be–and you still really want to live forever, then maybe the only way to do it is through what you do for other people.  First your kids and grandkids, then maybe your friends and associates but why not go way beyond that and try to help total strangers and anyone on the planet that you can reach, especially those that are in desperate need.  If you can motivate them to make their lives and their kids’ lives and their kids’ kids’ lives a little better, encouraging them to pass it on or ‘pay if forward’ forever into eternity, then I think you may see that you are living forever. Just one person has the potential to make the world a better place for numerous other people and that is one terrific legacy that you can leave as well as live.

A Great Means To a Great End

March 1, 2013 by  
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A few days ago I was at Wal-Mart when a very pregnant lady followed by a little girl kind of cut me off with her shopping cart. She apologized and I said “Hey there’s a little girl following you and it looks like another kid is right in front of you”, speaking of her unborn child. This made her laugh.

As I checked out, this same lady with her daughter and husband ended up in line right behind me.
I overheard the husband and wife quietly discussing that they couldn’t afford to buy a pair of gloves that they needed and this on a very, very cold day. So as they talked I casually moved the little bar that separated their purchases from mine, putting about $50 or $60 dollars worth of items on my side.

A moment later, as the casher scanned the items, the mother looked up and said “Wait a minute. That’s our stuff that she’s scanning!”  I said” I know it is and I am going to pay for it.”  She then had a very puzzled look on her face.  I quickly added “It’s ok. It’s just a random act of kindness and I really want to do it.”

After gathering herself for a moment, the mother said in a very emotional voice “Nobody has EVER done something like this for me.” and then began to tear up and so did I.

The clerk had overheard it all and said “That was so very, very nice.” I replied “Thank you but in a way it’s a bit selfish since it make me feel wonderful and I’ll feel that for a very long time!”  My impulse actually had more to do with me thinking that they really needed help but the wonderful feeling I got was great extra benefit.

I’m sure you have had similar feelings as you go out of your way to help others. My hope is that we will all step up and do it more and more. $50 worth of goods may not seem like much in the big scheme of things but it doesn’t really matter how much you impact others, just that you do. It will be something they aren’t likely to forget and will forever give them a warm, grateful memory. Knowing that just adds to that wonderful feeling you’ll get to carry around with you as well.

One of the reason’s I decided to make a fortune was that I figured the more financially successful I was the more I could give to others. Money and wealth should be a means to a much greater end–that of giving back. Paying it Forward.  By helping others everybody is a winner and that is the way the world should and could work if we all do our part.  Let’s all go out and do it!

P.S. I’ll have more in later blogs on clues, formulas and methods to making millions and helping others as you go.

Compounding Generosity

December 7, 2012 by  
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If you’ve read either of my books, How to wake up the-Financial Genius Inside You  or How to Ignite Your Passion for Living, you know how big I am on the concept of compounding. Compounding your investments has to do with keeping the income you make off your investment in the game so that you make new income off the previously created income allowing your revenue to grow exponentially. This concept can actually be applied to many things. If you saw the movie, Pay it Forward, you saw a good deed and the gratitude that came from it compounded. Instead of the one good act being the only good act and the thanks only being returned once, the idea was passed onto multiple people who passed the generosity onto several people each and soon the world was “paying it forward”.

This is the concept behind viral and word of mouth marketing. Tell someone or a group of people and encourage them to share their enthusiasm for your product or service and hopefully the news will continue to spread and grow your market.  We’ve all seen this happen with viral videos. A few people see it, pass it onto a group of friend who pass it onto a group of friends and next thing you know a million people have seen it!

When you give of yourself this season–be it money, time, knowledge or just a kind word–ask yourself if there is any way to compound the gesture. If you give money, it will compound if you give it to a charity that helps poor communities build commerce which will increase the community’s wealth and ability to financially sustain it. If you teach a young person a new skill, like how to invest (see the wonderful email I received and shared in the post last week), encourage them to share what they learned and ask those they teach to share it as well. Then your time with this one person will end up helping maybe dozens or hundreds of people or more.

Of course, if all you can do is give a few more people encouragement and a kind word, the good intentions and good cheer will usually get spread simply because you made someone feel better and that feeling tends to make others want to do the same. Generosity is self-perpetuating. And that, in a nutshell, is true compounding!

 

The Joy of Giving … to Strangers

December 9, 2011 by  
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I have a colleague whose family has done something rather remarkable to help get them out of that crazy holiday shopping rush and help others while they are at it. She has a big family so she had to shop for 21 immediate family members as well as her own children, husband, friends and co-workers. It was a huge chore for the whole family and eventually deteriorated into an exchange of impersonal gift cards. But one year they decided it had to change. The whole spirit of the holidays felt lost to them.

First thing they did was change it so each person only bought for one other person in the family. That way what was bought could be more unique and special. But the really cool thing was they reduced their spending on each other to a fraction of what it had been and took the rest of their budget and spent it on complete strangers. They have charities in most cities that arrange things so you can buy for an entire family who is too impoverished to afford a real holiday. So now my colleague’s family goes shopping for others, buying clothes, toys, and a grocery gift card so their ‘adopted’ family can have something to open Christmas day and enjoy a special holiday meal. It gives them all such a great feeling to be giving to those who could use the gifts so much more than them and the young people in the family get to really experience the giving nature of the season and have come to love it. I thought that was just super.

For those of us fortunate enough, the gifts we get this season will often be expected–obligatory, picked from a provided list, or bought with a random guess. And that’s because when we have so much to do and so many people on our gift lists we just don’t have the time to make it special for each and every person. It’s still the thought that counts but what if you could make a few of the gifts be so special that they will be remembered for years? What if we all took a little of our gift budget and gave it to people that don’t expect anything of us? It doesn’t have to be a whole family; it could just be one person. That widow that lives down the street, the new employee at work that hasn’t really gotten to know anyone yet, a lonely soul at a nursing home, children at an orphanage, or an old friend you haven’t contacted in years. Wouldn’t that be something?