Category Archives: Life

You need money to make money

timeless-investing

I was in Norway not long ago, and they recently had a change of government, and I heard a lot of complaining from the opposition about how the rich will get richer, and the poor will stay poor with the new administration, and it bugs me. Do not misinterpret what I am saying. Poverty on a global scale is a tragedy, but the phrase « the rich is getting richer, and the poor stay poor» is almost always used as an argument for more taxes, not as an argument for human aid. So to be clear this is not an article about poverty on a global scale, but about economy in western countries.

We often divide our society into different classes, to simplify the study and analysis of different aspects of our societies dynamic. Even though the old model where proved outdated by London school of economics www.bbc.co.uk/science/0/21970879 (see the link for more information), I am going to use the old model that divides our society into: working class/the pleb, middle class, and upper class/elite, just because it’s less complicated. Of these groups of people only the upper middle class and the elite have enough liquidity to invest. The other groups use almost all their income on expenses, upkeep and so forth, and when they save money it’s usually to by a new car, a bigger house or go on a nice vacation. Lets say that a family has a total income of 50 000£, and that they use it all on food, electricity, house, cars etc. If someone in the family got a salary increase and they now have a total income of 51 000£, and that their expenses still where 50 000£, that means that they have 1 000£ they can use at whatever they like…

This is where we have a crossroad. There are several reasons for this crossroad, but they can be divided into three categories. Number one is the consumer culture, number two is the difference in mindset, and the third is knowledge.

A part of the consumer culture is the goal of having average or above average comfort and lifestyle. With that I mean that most people are never satisfied with having a lifestyle that is below average, and therefore want two cars, a medium sized house, good and healthy food, nice clothes and so on… This lifestyle costs a certain amount of money, and if you have a income that don’t allow you to achieve this lifestyle, then you will use most of a salary increase, lottery winnings or other forms of extra income to achieve this lifestyle. If you on the other hand already live above average you will in most cases don’t feel the external and internal pressure to achieve a better lifestyle, as much as those who have a below average lifestyle, and therefore be more likely to save the money.

Our mindset comes from experiences and upbringing. A person who grew up not knowing if they would have food the next day, are going to bring that mindset into his adult life and spending habits, no matter how much they earn today. The same way a person who grew up in abundance, are also going to bring that mindset into his adult life and spending habits. Our mindset will always be influenced by our upbringing, and not only that but we will also in some degree adopt the mindset of those around us. If you wonder why you behave like you do, or why you manage your economy the way you do, then I suggest that you confront your own mindset, and you may find some answers.

The final category is knowledge, and in this case knowledge about economy. There are three main sources of information about how to manage money. The first is parents. The second is education, and the third is life. In Utopia, knowledge would have been free, and equally available to everyone, but lets face it. We don’t live in Utopia. A good education costs a lot of money, whether it is a degree at Oxford or a afternoon seminar at the culinary academy you better have your chequebook ready. If you don’t have time to do everything yourself, you can always hire a consultant. Knowledge in form of hired manpower is effective, but expensive. Since most forms of knowledge is expensive, it seems that the upper middle class and the elite again are at a advantage.

The lower middle class and the working class have less money to invest than the upper middle class and the elite, nor do they have as much access knowledge about the global economy, and therefore we are left with these calculation:

Lower middle class and the working class:

Little knowledge about global economy → the odds of successful investments are less likely. + Little available money that can be invested = if successful investment, the return will be small.

Upper middle class and elite:

A lot of knowledge about global economy → the odds of successful investments are more likely. + A lot of available money that can be invested = if successful investment, the return will be large.

In conclusion it’s easier for the upper middle class and elite to set aside money, and to make successful investments, but it’s no excuse for the lower middle class and the working class to complain. Life is hard, and if you want something you have to work for it. You need money to make money, that’s just the way it is. If you want to invest money you better start putting money aside, and accumulate knowledge wherever you can find it.

S,L,I: Save, Learn, Invest.

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Norway

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I am in Norway now, it is amazing! We spent our first days in Oslo, the capital. Some of the highlights wherw; the Munch exhibit, the opera and vigelandsparken. Then we went climbing in the mountains. We walked across Bessegen, walked on a glacier and climbed Norways highest mountain Galdhøpiggen (2469m), we are considering to return to Norway in the winter, to see the midnight sun and aurora borealis. Next stop is Riga, Latvia.

 

munch-madonna

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Every diamond has its flaws

everyDiamondHasItsFlaws
Over the years I’ve become a bit of an amateur gem collector. I don’t know why I became so interested in gemstones, but its might have something to do with my interest for chemistry, their unique physical properties, the advanced mathematics formulas that are used to calculate how each stone should be cut to get it to shine brightest or simply their beauty.
Above all other gemstones diamonds fascinates me the most. Diamonds consists of the same chemical element as your pencil. Diamonds as all other gemstones are created by extreme amounts of pressure and temperature, and humans have managed to mimic those conditions, and to make synthetic gemstones, but these synthetic gemstones have a lot of differences to the reel ones.
Every natural diamond, no matter how brilliant and clean, has microscopic “impurities” that distinguishes it from the lab created diamond, despite of these “impurities” real diamonds has a hardness of 10 on moll’s scale, and are the hardest material known to man.
This has become the origin of one of my life-rules: everything that has no flaws is fake, or counterfeit. It might sound a bit depressing, but I’ll have to disagree. If nothing in this world is perfect, that means that it’s acceptable for me to be imperfect too.
I had a period a while back where I thought I had to be perfect at everything, and frankly it was exhausting! I was exhausted and unhappy all the time, because everything I did was about pleasing someone else. Mates, don’t try to be perfect, be yourself, you’ll be a lot happier!
“Every diamond has its flaws” doesn’t just apply to humans, but it applies to items, business transactions and so forth. In these areas of life “Every diamond has its flaws” have pretty much the same applications as “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.” Always double check things that sounds too good to be true and it can save you a lot of time and money.
I want to end with a thought for you to think about. Natural diamonds have a higher value than lab created diamonds, even though it is possible to create much more beautiful diamonds in a lab. Why?
I think it’s because forgeries or imitations will never become as great or beautiful as the original, even though they are more perfect.

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Important information!

around the world
It has been a long time since I last wrote to you. A lot has happened in my life this last month, and therefore I’ve not had the energy or passion to write. The most significant thing that has happened is that my parents decided to file for divorce, but enough about that for now.

I have a big announcement. I’m going to travel around the world, starting with Norway this October. I do not know for how long I will travel the world, or where I’m going, but the opportunity presented itself, and some mates and I are going to travel the world for at least 6 months, and I think it will be an experience we’ll never forget.

My website will certainly be influenced by this trip, but how much and how remains to see.

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Creativity

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We often forget how important creativity is. Every child is creative, but somewhere in live we lose our creative abilities. I think our creativity gets crushed under the massive pile of books that we have to learn by heart in various educational institutions, and after a while we are so focused on learning things by heart and to do everything the right way, and suddenly there’s no room for creativity.
While we have the gift of life, it seems to me the only tragedy is to allow part of us to die – whether it is our spirit, our creativity or our glorious uniqueness.
Gilda Radner
I don’t think we realise how valuable creativity is in our personal lives and in business. Let’s start with taking a look at the importance of creativity in the business world.  Creativity is vital in the creation of new products, new ideas, advertisement and problem solving. If you look at it creativity is vital in every process of most businesses, because most businesses follow this pattern. You first have to create the product or come up with an idea of a service you want to sell. Then you have to advertise the product, and you always have to solve problems, and many of these problems won’t have a straight forward solution, and therefore you have to be creative.
Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.
Edward de Bono

The personal benefits of creativity are different. While you in business use creativity as a tool to succeed, the personal benefits of creativity are joy and peace. Creativity is a great way to express your emotions, and think we all have experienced how good it’s to express what we fell. This isn’t about how you express your emotions, but that you do it. Another good thing about being creative is that you use the right part of your brain. The left side of the brain is the side you use the most in the daily life, and it’s main tasks is logic, facts, math and language, and after a long day at work this part of the brain will most likely be tired, and therefore being creative and access emotions and imagination will rest the left part of the brain, and use the right side instead. This will be relaxing and give you new energy.
Personally I try to paint as often I can. I’m not a great painter, but I enjoy it, and it’s a great emotional release. What creative spare time activities do you have?

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The start of something new

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When you start doing something new it’s both exciting and terrifying at the same time. A new world is reviled to you, and you absorb everything, every feeling, every sound and every new bit of information.

This was how it felt for me when I started blogging two weeks ago, and it continued when I made my own website williamcharlesblackwell.net a few days ago. Before I started I thought that I had everything under control, and that it would go smoothly, but it has been an uphill battle, not in a bad way, but in a challenging and good way.

I think it’s the same way with other things too, you can think you have everything under control when you start, but when you actually stand there you have no idea what you are supposed to do, and you just have to take a leap.

Don’t be afraid to do new things. You have to be willing to fail to succeed. No one are able to do something perfect the first time. Thomas Edison tried almost 10 000 times before he managed to make the light bulb, and he isn’t remembered for all the times he failed, but he’s remembered for succeeding.

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. – Thomas A. Edison

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Filed under Encouraging, Experiences, Life, Persevere

Build yourself up

buildyourself

Both in business life and in personal life we encounter obstacles and though times. In these times it is great to have friends and associates who is there to support you, but there is times when even those you believed would always be there for you leave you. I have experienced this myself in times of sickness or extreme tribulation. You suddenly stand alone with no one to keep you from crumbling into dust. It is in those times when you have no one believing in you, no one supporting you and no one standing by your side that you have to show everyone what you are made of.  You have to build yourself up.

This is how I do it:

I find quotes that I memorise and hold on to when I feel like I can’t manage to take another step. One of my favorite quotes is “When you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill. I also do the same with bible verses.

I also take a couple of minutes in the morning to stand in front of the mirror and say to myself; “You can do this. You’re a smart strong man that can do anything if you just try hard enough.  Today is going to be a great day.” I encourage myself until I believe what I am saying to myself.

I set aside some time to do whatever I want. It doesn’t matter how much I have to do, or how busy I am, I do it for myself. Sometimes I watch a movie, other times I go shopping, other times I just lay in bed and listen to music, but my favorite thing to do is to shoot with bow and arrow.  In this period of time I have no agenda other than having fun and relax.

These things are not only useful in times of tribulation, but also in everyday life. There is always useful to build oneself up, whether you have an army at your side or stand alone in the battlefield.

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