Monthly Archives: Oct 2014

How To Afford Anything

I recall that dinner table conversation with dad as if it happened yesterday. We were discussing an expensive purchase (I don’t remember what exactly).

“No, we can’t afford it,” he said, as usual.

Suddenly, something inside me snapped. Indignantly, I replied:

“You know what’s the difference between us? You say ‘We can’t afford it’, and figure out how to manage without it. I ask ‘HOW can we afford it?’ – and figure out a way to!”

It’s how I’ve lived all my life.

And as a result, amazing things have become possible.

So, how can you afford anything?

1. Make Choices – Or Compromise

Nobody can afford everything. It’s simply not practical. Even the richest person on earth can’t buy up all that he wants.

So we make choices. Set priorities. If you want X, maybe you must give up Y to have it. Or do Z to be able to afford it.

Say I give you 10,000 rupees every month. You could:

a. spend it on stuff you like, or
b. save it all up, and buy yourself a return ticket to Europe at the end of the year

The one thing you CAN’T do is both spend it AND save it!

You have to make a choice between the two options.

This logic applies to any resource you own.

  • If I want to spend more time with my daughter, I can’t have a hectic surgical practice.
  • If I want to hang out more with my wife, I can’t go out with my friends every evening.

The resource – time – is limited. It’s allocation is discretionary.

The good news is that, mostly, you have control over how it is distributed. The bad news is that, often, you don’t realize how much control you really have!

Another key to being able to afford anything is to…

2. Think Differently About Money

For many people, money is a tangible thing. Something to crave, cherish, own, get more of, and hoard – for its own sake.

But money is really a MEDIUM of exchange.

When two farmers live in the same village, and one grows tomatoes while the other grows potatoes, they simply bartered with each other. But when they lived far apart, instead of carrying heavy sacks of veggies back and forth, they invented a medium of exchange… and called it MONEY.

And that’s all it is – a means of exchanging what you have, for what you WANT.

(Another way I view money is as ENERGY that flows to where it can do things, but that’s another perspective for a different post!)

So… you exchange what you have – for money. We call this “work”. A job. Where you ‘spend’ your time and skill for a salary or other financial compensation.

Now, the key is to realize what you’re exchanging – and what it’s worth (or what you want in return for it).

Personally, I’d consider it fair when I can exchange an hour of my time for $100 (or 5,000 rupees). Anything less is not. That’s just me. Your “Number” will be different. But you ought to figure it out.

“But… but… but surely pediatric cardiac surgery doesn’t pay you so much?!”

You’re right. It doesn’t. In fact, it doesn’t pay me AT ALL – and I actually sponsor operations for those who can’t afford it, out of donations, and a portion of my earnings.

But then, for me, heart surgery isn’t “work”. It’s a dream come true. A calling. A passion. One that I will happily do forever, for free. That’s the difference.

Thinking differently about money alone won’t do, though. You’ll need to make enough of it.

3. Make Enough Money

You don’t get paid a lot of money to do average stuff. Things that anyone else can do just as well. Or worse, that can be automated.

There are just two ways to make as much money as you want…

a. Take risks – intelligently

Robbing a bank is risky. It can make you rich – fast. But it isn’t smart. Or right.

There are other ways to take risks that make you rich.

You could see and seize opportunities sooner than anyone else. Sure, there’s some risk involved. But if you can manage those risks, you can profit wildly.

b. Add value – consistently

People will pay you money for:

  • making them healthy
  • making them rich
  • making them beautiful
  • making them happy

Pause and think about this for a moment.

* Travel, cosmetics and self-improvement are each multi-billion dollar industries – because they add excitement, happiness and joy to people’s lives.

* Healthcare and pharmaceutical companies are hot money-spinners around the world – because they relieve pain and suffering or treat illness.

* Biz opps and investment services have spawned hordes of millionaires across industries – because people will happily pay for “money at a discount”.

Which of them will make YOUR dreams come true?


3 Vital Ingredients For Winning Time Management Systems

Why Old, Generic, Efficiency Driven Methods Failed – And The Future of Time Management Systems Is Promising

Time management systems that are personalized, aligned with your true purpose in life, and enhance your efficiency are the only ones destined to deliver on a promise of lower stress and greater delight. The others are a relic of the past, fit only to be consigned to the garbage dump of time management history!

Time management systems have ruled the lives of corporate wage slaves for centuries. More recently, they have gradually encroached on the existence of everyone else – including you and me.

But despite their ubiquitous presence and constant evolution, not many time management systems have worked well to increase satisfaction, reduce stress or enhance time utility effectively.

What’s the reason for this dismal failure?

Your Life Can’t Be Easily Categorized!

Listen to any time management video or training program, and you’ll hear about how all the events in your life can nicely fit into 3, 4 or 5 generic categories. Go back home (or to the office) and try to put that lesson into practice, and you’ll realize just how impractical it is!

Your life, like mine, is too rich, varied and exciting to be compartmentalized. And the important and special components of it are even harder to group in a general fashion. Your most boring chore may be what I live for.

That’s one of the biggest failings of existing systems that teach you how to manage time better.

Why Most Time Management Systems Failed

Most methods of learning time management are based on a prescriptive approach of drawing up to-do lists and ordering them by importance before getting them done. This is an elegant and simple method, one that should work wonders in everyone’s life.

But the reality is that even when we follow popular time management lessons to the letter, our day isn’t any less rushed, our stress levels aren’t any lower, and our sense of fulfillment at the end of the day isn’t any higher.

And at the core of this failure is the simple, yet often overlooked fact that the things you put on your to-do list and then set priorities on are hardly ever of your own choice.

Usually they are tasks and chores that devolve upon you from someone else. Your boss, your co-workers, and your employees. Your family, your friends, and your community. Your club, your religious associations and many more external groups. All impose their needs and requirements upon your limited time.

The time management powerpoints you studied so carefully taught you how to prioritize and get them done. But…

Time Management Systems Are NOT For Others

They are for YOU!

These systems should focus first on making you happier – by taking you closer to your goals, getting your personal to-do list done, achieving your unique targets and purpose.

That’s where the majority of conventional time management systems dropped the ball. Any system that remains viable into the future must overcome this fatal weakness and embrace these 3 principles:

1. Individualization

The only way a system to manage time can be pertinent and relevant to you is if it is designed (or can be adapted) to your uniqueness. It should be flexible and free-flowing enough to embrace the elements of your life and dreams that matter most – to YOU. That’s why Time Management Tao begins with finding the center, the things of greatest importance to you.

2. Purposefulness

Famous effectiveness coach Stephen Covey tells the story of a man who spent a lot of effort climbing up a tall tree, only to look around when he reached the top – to discover that he was in the wrong forest! Many of us blindly follow efficiency systems without realizing they may not guide us in the right direction. A great time management system must help you set course first, before showing you how to navigate more efficiently.

3. Efficiency

In the ultimate analysis, no winning system can be lacking in efficiency training. But most systems already do a fine job of teaching efficiency. It’s the combination with the other 2 factors that combine in creating the ultimate time management systems.

On this site, and in the Ming Vase Time Management series of guides, you will find this emphasis on showing you how to manage time in a unique, individual, and personalized way. A way that is in alignment with your highest held values and deep, meaningful purpose.

You will find yourself setting goals that are relevant to you, and executing them effortlessly, fueled by the passion and energy that comes from living a purposeful life. That’s the Tao (or Way) to stress-free time management.

Be sure to also register for our free “Time Taozine” newsletter and receive weekly news about being effective and enjoying 3 extra hours in your busy, over-crowded day. Just fill in the registration form below with your name and email address.

Time management training | Time Management Tao Home


It Was An Eye-Opener

Mission and Blessings
I’m going to tell you a story. This story has nothing to do with writing books or selling them – except very marginally.

It is about being an infopreneur. It is about touching lives. It is about changing the world. And finding your 1000 true fans.

It begins when I started implementing a promotion plan for a digital course for writers.

I was excited when one famous guru, with a reputation for quality and excellence (and a large list of prospective buyers!), agreed to review the course with a view to promoting it to his list.

For six weeks, I retained a cautious optimism – not really pinning all hopes on this happening, but dreaming about how nice it would be if it did.

Until a few days earlier.

That’s when the dream was shattered.

It hurt – a bit. Castles in the air came tumbling down.

– – –

Now, let me shift scenes… like a good story-teller.

Over the last 6 years, I have bought many expensive courses. One is about business strategy, from a true master of the art – Jay Abraham. Another is about creating and selling information products, by a best-selling author. And one is a program teaching how to sell expensive products and services online.

I also ordered a home-study version of Mark Victor Hansen’s ‘Book Marketing Mega’ – and paid less than 10% for it than these other courses.

As I’m going through the material, all of it top quality content, one thing sticks out like a sore thumb.

The ‘business coaching’ style of infopreneuring includes expensive content that is more ‘nuts and bolts’ stuff. It works. It’s like an instruction manual.

But what I’m gaining from the ‘Book Marketing Mega’ event goes deeper – far deeper. It touches my heart. It inspires me to aspire for great things.

It showcases the POWER of an infopreneur.

(It also costs 10 times LESS!)

– – –

And now, let’s turn back to the present.

Remember, I’m hurting from the ‘rejection’ of a ‘big name’ marketer.

So, I’m driving my car, and listening to one of the lectures in Mark Victor Hansen’s course – and hear these words:

“Lance Armstrong was right. It’s NOT about the bike.”

(It was a reference to the best-selling book by Lance Armstrong, 7 time winner of the grueling ‘Tour de France’ cycling challenge… read it if you haven’t – and the sequel)

He went on:

“It’s NOT about the book.

It’s NOT about the deal.

It’s NOT about the ‘Show me the money’.

It’s about…

T H E     .    M I S S I O N

Your Mission.”

The speaker was abused as a child. Badly. Yet, he says he is one of the most blessed people on earth. He says God has been kind to him.

And he asks:

“What will you do with your blessings?”

Because that’s what is important.

The Mission.

Your Blessings.

Put them together, align them behind a worthy cause, and you are guaranteed to succeed. In time.

In an instant, my mood changed – from ‘gloom and doom’ to a completely opposite one of optimism, possibility and enthusiasm.

I still have my mission.

It’s NOT about the deal that didn’t happen.

It’s about taking all my BLESSINGS and making them work to achieve my MISSION.

Before getting on with my work, and revising my promotion plan in the light of that minor setback, I wanted to write and share this with you.

To show you the POWER of being a writer.

To prove you can reach out and touch lives.

To convince you it is a NOBLE calling.

Yes, you can get rich doing it too.

But that isn’t the most important thing.

Then what is?

It’s the MISSION.

Your mission.

It’s your BLESSINGS.

And using them wisely.

Who was the speaker who shared those powerful insights about ‘Missions’ and ‘Blessings’?

The name is one that’s familiar to MILLIONS of Americans, and others too. It is DAVE PELZER. A survivor of childhood abuse, this author and activist is an inspiration to those who have been victimized.

The story of how he rose to fly an F117 Stealth Fighter, and received personal commendations from 5 U.S. Presidents and innumerable accolades including the
TOYA (Ten Outstanding Young Americans) award, is on his website at

Read it. Get inspired. Follow your dreams.

May success and rich rewards be yours – ALWAYS.

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