How Much Do You Really NEED?

Hooker Valley Track, Mt.Cook New Zealand

In the aftermath of a crisis – like an extended lockdown and quarantine – it’s easy to get disheartened and depressed.

About the lack of things that once filled our lives.

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How To Achieve Financial Freedom : A Personal Finance & Investment Primer

Financial Freedom

Personal Finance & Investing

Reading time: 1 hour
Lifetime value: $10,000 (or more!)

  • If I sat you down and promised to pay you $10,000 after you finish reading this primer on personal finance and investment, I’m sure you’ll do it right now.
  • If I convinced you that by reading it, you’ll make at least $10,000 over your lifetime, you’ll do it as soon as you have an hour or two to spare.

But I can’t.

So I’ll just hope you see its valueand do the smart thing!

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Monsters In The Mirror

Monster in the mirror

Not all serious problems are dramatic.

Even deadly ones are often silent.

Like a drop of blood in spit while brushing. Like a momentary fumble with a plate or cup. Like the futile grasp to remember a name or face.

They could be early warning signs of a blood cancer; of an impending stroke; or of Alzheimer’s.

On the other hand… they may be completely innocent.

Should we worry, then? Or do we reserve our panicked reactions only to the ones that arrive with a flash and a bang?

Like a heart attack. A nuclear accident. A contagious virus.

Hard to tell. Because…

Quiet dangers are still real.

But there’s a downside.

If we constantly seek subtle signs as harbingers of doom, we’ll always see monsters in the mirror.

And what kind of life would THAT be?

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How To THINK Differently : Dealing With A Changed Post-COVID World

Be Different - Think Differently

THINK Differently

 

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May you live in interesting times, goes an ancient Chinese curse.

In our modern era, a virus that first was detected in China and has since rapidly spread around the world has led us into very interesting times.

Or perhaps “interesting” isn’t the right word.

Scary times. Fearful times. Distressing times.

Worrying times.

Uncertain times.

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Fleishman Is In Trouble : Book Review

Dr.Toby Fleishman, consultant hepatologist, wakes up to discover his two children asleep in the flat – and a short post-it note on his bedside table saying their mom was going to a yoga retreat.

That’s the last he’ll hear from Rachel… for a few weeks.

This is a complex debut novel. With a deeply introspective exploration into the minefield called ‘middle age‘.

The characters are delightfully fleshed out.

You get to know them, understand how they think, feel their angst and anger, and share their passage through life in a visceral sense. You’ll definitely identify with one or the other, maybe a combination of a few – and relate to others through actual people in your own life.

And the story line is brilliant.

Tracing the course through life of three high school friends as they progress to their forties, “Fleishman Is In Trouble” addresses concerns and controversies, tensions and troubles, problems and poignancies anyone who has lived past 4 decades will surely appreciate and resonate with.

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On Hooker Valley Track To Aoraki Mount Cook New Zealand

Mount Cook New Zealand

“It’ll take around three hours!” said our tour guide.

Anticipating an easy amble to the foothills of Mount Cook, we set out on the popular Hooker Valley Track, four middle-aged folks with an average age of 51 years.

I volunteered to be ‘pack mule‘ for the group, lugging along a bag with 4 liters of water, some snacks and warm sweaters.

Quickly, we realized this was no walk down a rosy garden path!

The track sloped up, gently at first, then a bit more steeply. All around, mountains loomed and valleys rolled gently away to distant lakes and streams.

The walking path weaved and curved between thick shrubbery dotted with colorful blooms.

Hooker Valley Track Mount Cook New Zealand

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My 10 Best Books of 2019

Best Books of 2019

Like I did last year with a selection of ‘9 Best Books I Read In 2018’, I’ve compiled a list of my 10 favorite reads in 2019.

In no specific order, here they are:

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Build It Up

Break It Down, Build It Up

Exactly 48 hours ago, there was a house in this spot across the road.

It took nearly 6 months to build. And for over 35 years, it sheltered many families.

  • Children were born in it, and grew up. Married. Had kids of their own.
  • People grew up in it, and grew old. Retired. Got sick and died.
  • One opened a business in it, and it thrived. Became profitable.

And then, everything changed.

A construction company’s billboard went up, with a slogan saying:

“Let’s Build a Future… Bigger & Better”

Wreckers and giant diggers arrived one night. Next morning, a loud clanging and drilling indicated they had begun work.

Two days later, all that’s left is a mound of rubble.

And a vacant lot.

Another set of apartments will be built in it. They, too, will house many families. It will take several months, even years, to build it, though.

Tearing something down is quick, even easy.

Building it up is not.

It takes time, effort and patience.

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