Friday, July 12, 2013

WHO are YOU?

THAT is a very profound question, even without seeming so on the surface. 
In asking that question, what am I really asking
Your name? 
Your origin? 
Your background? 
Your beliefs? 

WHEN you think about, most of us are asked this question almost on a daily basis. Even if you are well known in your social circle, there are many times when you will have to explain to people who you are and what you stand for. 
It seems we are always introducing ourselves. In meetings. At school. At work. At parties. 
But when people approach us and say things like “Hi, I am so and so, and you are?” what is that they are really trying to find out? 
And if we were to ask ourselves “Who am I?” would the answer be consistent
Even better, if we ask ourselves “Who do I WISH to be?”, is the response still the same?

THE thoughts and actions of people interest me a great deal, because we ALL seem to have some, if not MANY, traces of hypocrisy within ourselves. Even during my own self reflection, I can pinpoint several instances where I have reprimanded myself for showcasing these hypocritical tendencies. It seems that we have all of the advice in the world for others on how they should live their lives. Not saying that it’s not GREAT advice, because it usually is, considering the fact that we usually have our loved ones best interest at heart. The crazy thing is that most people have a hard time taking their own advice.
The WORST vice is ADvice. –Al Pacino, The Devil’s Advocate
WHY is this so difficult? We often KNOW what we should be doing to get where we are trying to go, to BE who it is that we TRULY wish to be, yet we get so complacent with our own selfish habits that changing often becomes MISSION IMPOSSIBLE. But it’s really NOT HARD. 
We have simply made up in our minds that as long as we SAY we are working to be a better person and we APPEAR to want to do better, then we are on the path to progress. THIS IS SO WRONG! How can you walk a path when you haven't even taken the first step? I believe in affirmations, and the power of the tongue, and I know that our words have great influence over our thoughts and our lives. HOWEVER, our words have LIMITED power with no ACTION to back them up. 
What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? James 2:14, The Christian Bible
MANY of us are fully aware of this truth as well, still we are held back from doing what we know we need/want to do to improve ourselves and our lives. Today’s world makes it so easy for us. Knowledge is LITERALLY at our fingertips, yet we refuse to leverage it! ANYTHING you have ever wanted to know can be accessed with the touch of a button, yet we are too lazy to read. We are too busy to read articles to improve our financial situation because they are LONG and DRY, and BORING.

It’s easier to make excuses than it is to make moves.
It’s easier to read about and gossip about these celebrities who are in the public eye, rather than take a look at ourselves.

WE devote so much of our time (our most VITAL, nonrenewable resource) to watching others who ARE ALREADY successful, that we FAIL to MAKE time to create our OWN SUCCESS. WHY?


I have seen soooo many posts about JAY's and KANYE’s new albums, but few about what’s going on in Egypt or US troops in Afghanistan or our diminishing privacy rights or any of a million other RELEVANT issues in our world! I won't get into the Zimmerman trial, because it has become such a sorted and biased racial debate....
The bottom line is that our focus is on these celebrities when it should be on our world issues and on ourselves.
As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being. –Carl Jung
IF you were to really focus on yourself and the vast effect that you could have on our world, would you be a better you? Are you already the best you that you could be? It is what we DO that makes us who we are. Not so much what we say, or who/what we know, but what we DO. 
How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.–Annie Dillard
AGAIN I ask, WHO ARE YOU? 
And, after you are GONE, who will you have been?

What will we remember you for, or will we remember you at all? 
What kind of footprint will you leave on this world? 
Will your legacy simply be based on your living vicariously through some celebrity that you adore?
Will it be based on making sure that you make just enough money this check to “stunt" on all your friends?
Will it be based on how good you were at "clowning" someone else just to get cheap laughs on these social media sites? 

REALLY DO something? 
The somethingthat you have known for SO LONG that you should do, but you keep putting off until you have “more free time” or “more support” or “more opportunity” or “a better job” or “more money” or whatever excuse it is this week….
If you wait, all that happens is you get older.Larry McMurtry
LET'S switch the focus. Let’s change ourselves, our children, our communities
But we can’t make as great of an impact on the world without first looking within ourselves. 
Again, I ask…WHO ARE YOU? 
And this time I am not looking for your name, your family history, your job title, etc. 
I want to know WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO CHANGE YOUR WORLD? 

WHAT IS YOUR TRUTH? 
Not just what you tell people because it sounds official, not that project you started but never finished, not what you plan to do tomorrow

WHO ARE YOU really and TRULY? 
Keep asking yourself this EVERYDAY, until the response to “Who am I?” is identical to your answer to the question “Who do I WISH to be?”
It is only then that you can call yourself SUCCESSFUL. 
It is only then that you have fulfilled your desired legacy. 
It is only then that you have CREATED something GREAT! 

Few people can say that they are who they wish to be.



Thanks for reading.
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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

BULL VS BEAR

Market talk can be complicated. Part of the Masterminds mission is to demystify everything involving finance, investments, and personal and professional development, one post at a time. This time we'll explain, in the most simplest terms, the difference between a bullish market and a bearish one...

What is a BULL market?
This is when the market is strong and showing confidence. Indicators such as a rises in the NASDAQ and/or DOW, increase of numbers of shares traded, and influx of new businesses into the market could all be signs of a bullish market. Technically speaking, a bull market is marked by a rise of the market value of at least 20%.

If a person is optimistic and believes that stocks will go up, he or she is called a "bull" and is said to have a "bullish outlook".

What is a BEAR market?
A bear market is just the opposite of a bull market. If the markets fall by more than 20% then we have entered a bear market. Bear markets illustrate a lack of confidence. Prices hover at the same price then go down, indices fall too and volumes are stagnant. In a bear market people are waiting for the bulls to start driving the prices up again. However, a bear is a very tentative bull or a bull that is asleep.

If a person is pessimistic, believing that stocks are going to drop, he or she is called a "bear" and said to have a "bearish outlook".

What does this mean for investors?
First, let me start by saying that all NOVICE investors should be conservative, and never risk investing in anything you do not understand. Investments span such a broad range (It's more than just stocks and bonds, but that we'll save for another post.) READ, READ, READ! Keeping up with the local and global news can be great helps when it comes to predicting a bullish or bearish market. Also, keep up with changing trends in specific types of financial instruments before putting your money into them. With many options, you will be able to ascertain when the high and low seasons are, increasing your chances of earning a profitable return.
It's simple: YOU BUY LOW AND SELL HIGH. This works for anything! Stocks, bonds, real estate, commodities, whatever!

So to make a high return, you should buy stocks in a bear market when stock prices are low and sell stocks in a bull market when stock prices are high. Knowing which is which is the hard part....

Many investors are often too emotional and they sell in a bear market because they are scared to lose money and they buy in a bull market because they don’t want to miss the big gains. You can make some money that way but it also explains why many investors lose money by trying to time the market. The safest way to help prevent yourself from making these mistakes is to buy stocks and invest in the market by regularly making fixed size investments, and holding your investments for a long period of time. (This is the conservative way.)

Once you have done your due diligence and have more advanced knowledge, you can move on to more aggressive ways to make money in the market, that will bring higher risk but also much higher returns. STAY TUNED.


-Mo

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Oops! There goes GRAVITY!

grav·i·ty

[ˈgravitē]


n.
1. The force that attracts a body toward the center of the earth, or toward any other physical body having mass. For most purposes Newton's...
2. The degree of intensity of this, measured by acceleration.
Synonyms
seriousness - weight - gravitation - solemnity
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We wake up each day, put on our shoes one foot at a time, and head out to conquer the world. Not once do we think about gravity, and how it’s holding us back, keeping us grounded. If it weren’t for the law of gravity, we could really fly. But we take life for what it is, and we accomplish what we can, even within the limitations of that impediment we call gravity. Why?

Why is it so easy to come to terms with something that is so restricting, so ubiquitous in our lives? We know it’s there, and we know it limits our movements daily. Still, we don’t wake up each morning, plant our feet on the ground next to our beds and go, “Doh! There goes that damn gravity again!” or begin cursing Sir Isaac Newton for his discovery.

Why is this pervasive truth, no matter how impeding, so easily accepted and other “truths” or realizations are not? We can deal with gravity, but we can’t deal with the community or family we were born into. We can’t assent to the government we are stuck with or the decline in the economy that happens every few years. We can’t accept the differences of others around us, even though their choices are completely out of our control. We can’t take the steep price of higher learning or the taxes that the state makes us pay. We can’t accept that light bill that is due in the next couple of weeks. We can’t come to terms with the fact that our loved one just passed away or even accept that loved one that just won’t go away. We can’t accept that little kid down the street that keeps walking in our f&%*!n grass no matter how many times you ask him to stop. Why? We fight against all of these things, but not gravity. We stress over all of these “truths” but not the truth of gravity.
The concept of coming to terms with gravity is one that I have taken great interest in the past couple of months, and I have been able to improve my quality of life with just a few minor changes in my way of thinking. (Often is the way of the world.) I would like to share these thoughts with you and I hope they in some way spark some positive improvement in your life as well.
First, what do I really mean when I say “coming to terms with gravity”. I mean NOT stressing. I do not mean throwing in the towel, and I certainly do not think coming to terms with gravity warrants giving up the good fight for what you believe. It simply means, if you can’t change it, don’t let it control your emotions. The serenity prayer is a great reference here. It’s what we should all be praying for:
God, grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.
Knowing the difference can make ALL the difference. But even before knowing whether a situation or truth is gravity or not, there are ways to keep from stressing. I am a firm believer that there are TWO things you must NEVER stress over: things you CANNOT control and things you can. The wisdom behind this thought is that if you cannot fix something, you may as well learn to live with it instead of wasting energy with worry. Worry will not improve the situation, and it will only make you feel WORSE about an unavoidable and indispensable truth. If you CAN improve upon the situation, this is the ULTIMATE reason not to stress, whether you plan to use your ability to make a change or not. If you are going to change the situation, you know that a solution is coming, so no need to worry. If you decline the use of your ability to change a situation, you might as well just zip it. In any case, there is NEVER a real reason to stress over ANYTHING if you look at life from this perspective.
Southeast Engine has a song titled “Coming to Terms with Gravity" and I think the following lyrics are appropriate here:
“What we know, is black and white
right and wrong, dark and light
becomes more than we've ever bargained for
So if the colours that I see, are lights reflecting
then it's a miracle to be, able to see anything
so I'm coming to terms with gravity”
Listen to it here -> {X}
Now, how do you actually decide if something is gravity or not? You must first look at the extent of the situation. Is it only you who is adversely affected, or are others involved? How many others? Does a solution mean changing yourself or changing the world? Can it be fixed with the turn of a dial or will you require more resources? I can’t help you to decide; I can only make you think. Just like I can lead you to water, but I can’t … well you know. You have to make your mind as objective as possible and think of each situation independently of each other and with logic not emotion. Emotions keep us from clearly thinking. Meditation works for me. Tea or soft music may work for you. Whatever calms you down and helps you to clear your head, DO IT, before making ANY important decision. You’ll thank yourself later.
If at the end of your latte, after your incense have burned to ashes, you are still at a loss of how to solve a given situation, stand up, plant both feet firmly on the ground and say to yourself, “There goes that damn gravity again” and live on…
After a few months you will be amazed at how STUPID you have been with your energy, how completely WASTEFUL you have been with your thoughts...

Thanks for reading!
Mo
[www.moniquemcclain.com]
Live free...positively.
Cool trick with GRAVITY and GOOGLE                                                           (must be in GOOGLE CHROME web browser) -> {X}

Thursday, January 31, 2013

University of Memphis RSO Fair

Yes, we were present at the University Memphis RSO fair Wed, Jan 23 to promote the student chapter of our Masterminds group. It was a very exciting time! And we got over 50 interested students to sign up for our mailing list.

Master plan. Master money. Mastermind.

Are you a student (at the University of Memphis or any other school) looking to take advantage of access to resources and information to help you catapult your career or entrepreneurial success???
Email mastermindsmemphis@gmail.com and we will send you the constitution and membership application.

Benefits: a network of positive and motivating individuals who are already on their way to creating their financial plan for their future, access to tons of free resources and information to help you either start your own business or develop your professional career, free advice from masterminds with an awesome knowledge base, transcending a broad range of expertise and concentrations (including Finance, Law, Graphic Design, Image, Communications, Real Estate, Marketing, and so on and so on), the opportunity to give back to your community and mentor youth, access to free workshops and speakers, and the list goes on and on. CHECK US OUT!!!

Enjoy the pics below!










Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Becoming a Charismatic Master.

I thought I would share the podcast I am listening to today on the subject of  >>Charisma<< (click here)

I'm not sure we are all aware of how important charisma is to our personal and professional lives.
Charisma affects the people we attract, and the people we intrigue. It affects what opportunities are offered to us and what people say when we are not around. I found this particular discussion on the topic to be rather interesting.

A few key points...

CHARISMA is a learned tactic and can be used to your benefit. It is the result of specific behaviors, and can be controlled. It is an applied science, but can be mistaken for an innate trait since the most charismatic people learn these behaviors very early on. It is somewhat of a trial and error kind of thing for most. You show a particular behavior and you see the response. When you get the responses you like, you continue to repeat the behavior and it becomes almost automatic. You have to have a certain amount of charisma to lead, to persuade, or simply to get people to listen to what you have to say. The good news, is that if you don't see yourself as charismatic now, you can work on it. You can practice. You don't have to enter the game unconditioned.

TRUST is important. And whether or not people trust you and your authority on a specific topic is very dependent on  your tone, your confidence level, and your body language. Take the time to be present, be aware, be an active listener. When people feel like you are present and cognizant to what they say, they will be more open to what you have to say.

PRESENCE POWER AND WARMTH are the critical components of charisma. And this is more about how you make other people feel about themselves than it is about how you make them feel about you.

PRESENCE is the real core of charisma, and it is all about actually BEING present. People notice when your reactions are delayed and you are absent from the conversation. It can even give people the feeling that you are being inauthentic, which can completely ruin their confidence and trust in you. SEEMING attentive is not a replacement for really BEING present. Just like you notice when you do not have someone's full attention, others notice when you do the same.

POWER comes from confidence, and confidence comes from self-assurance. How you walk, talk, and treat others says a lot about your confidence level. You must stay in control of not only your body but your thoughts. Self-doubt and self conscious thoughts can affect the power we portray when we walk into a room. Just standing in an expansive and authoritative manner can affect your confidence and allows you to speak with more assurance and authority. Do not let yourself feel like an "imposter". Be knowledgeable, continue to grow in your position, and speak with more periods than question marks. Do not fear not knowing. If you do not know, do not simply say you don't know, say that you will find out. This will also increase others' confidence in you. Disassociate yourself from negative thoughts about yourself!

WARMTH is all about how you make people feel about themselves. Making people believe in your power and authority is important, and they will respect you for it. But if you can make them feel confident in their OWN power and authority, they will LOVE you for it. Once they trust you and your opinion, this can make all the difference in how much they are willing to help and support you or even simply in how comfortable they feel around you. When people find themselves comfortable around you, when they go out of their way to be around you, when they are MAGNETIZED to you, you will find that this can change your entire world. You want people to be drawn to you, not be intimidated by you. So warmth may be the most important aspect of increasing your charismatic capacity.

Also, check out this upcoming entrepreneurial event that I will be attending, along with a few other Masterminds this March. It is FREE, and if nothing else, should prove to be a good NETWORKING opportunity. If you are in MEMPHIS, sign up here: https://thenetexchange.eventbrite.com/
Let me know if you are going and I will look for you there! [mastermindsmemphis@gmail.com]

-Mo
[www.moniquemcclain.com]