Why Your Mindset Matters

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t—you’re right.”  – Henry Ford

Many people think.  Surely there is more behind such a vague opening statement?  And in actuality there is.  There are a million different ways to think about things:  “right ways,” “wrong ways,” “good ways,” “bad ways.” What does that have to do with you right now?  Well let me help you understand how thinking can change the way you look at things.

As mentioned, thoughts are very complex and a lot of different variables go into them.  But to simplify it, we are going to say there are two basic levels.  You can have positive thoughts or negative thoughts.  I noticed that both types of thought have a large impact on my life, and I would even argue that they affect you as well.

As the quote from Henry Ford above states, you are essentially the product of your thoughts.  Meaning thoughts play a large role in your day to day activities.  Say you are running a 5k and decide, that no matter what, you are going to run the whole time and finish.  Your mind and all of its mysterious power ensures you WILL run the whole time and finish.  You may have thoughts such as “I am getting close only a little further, keep pushing” or “I will have plenty of time to rest after I complete this 5k”.  Both thoughts are positive and both thoughts inspire you to finish.  In essence the more positive you are about finishing that 5k, the more reasons your brain will give you on why you can finish it.

On the contrast, having negative thoughts can have the complete opposite effect on you. Having negative thoughts for the same 5k run would warrant you to stop running and just “take it easy.” Thoughts like “I cannot finish this race, I am not good enough” or “My legs are tired, my back is sore, and I am out of breath”.  Negative thoughts are like cancer, they produce more negativity, spread quickly, and are dangerous if left unchecked.  Once in your head, you need to work towards recognizing them in order to break the negative thought cycle.

So how can you break these thoughts and become more positive?  Well you do it the same way you learn to do anything else.  PRACTICE!  You cannot simply just change these thoughts overnight.  You need to practice being positive every single day. Whether it’s by writing positive quotes, listening to positive music, meditation, or most importantly hanging around positive people.   You need to identify the negative thoughts inside your head and crush them with the power of positivity.  Pay attention to how your thoughts affect your actions and take notes if you need to (I know I needed to at first). There are an infinite amount of ways that you can work on positive thinking, and I highly suggest trying a wide variety of them.  It helps you determine what works for you, because, as we all know, what works for you may not work for somebody else.  But once you begin to acknowledge the fact that you have these thoughts, as well as, control over these thoughts you can change them.  The best, and also my favorite, part about all this is that it can be related to every situation you will ever go through in life!

So remember to keep those negative thoughts in check!  Find a way that works best for you and stick to it.  The method I currently use to accomplish this is by paying attention to my thoughts to ensure they are positive.  I have been practicing and am still experimenting with different methods myself.  If I feel as if I cannot accomplish something I work on determining the root cause.  If I determine the cause is negative thoughts, I work to change my outlook and mindset.  For me, this is still a work in progress with a long ways to go, but I know it will be well worth it.  So in closing I just want to ask you:  What kind of mindset do you want to have in your life?

 

 

 

 

James A. Lovejoy

 

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How Failure Helps YOU Succeed

The world we live in today is a world where failure is frowned upon.  When you fail at something, people have a hard time trusting you to complete that task in the future.  It sometimes gives you the feeling that you’re not good enough.  But let me tell you something about failure.  It propels you to success.  It pushes your boundaries.  It makes you the best damn you that you can be.

Google’s definition of failure is “the lack of success,” but that is only true if you make it true in your head.  Sure society doesn’t reward failure.  You’ll never miss the buzzer beater shot and win a basketball game or miss an important business deal and get paid.  Basically you will never “fail” and “get ahead.” But is it actually true?

 

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill.

 

Many people do not like the idea of failure, myself included.  However, failure is something that should be embraced.  Something that you can use to mold yourself into the person you want to become.  Essentially, failure is life’s greatest teacher.  Children do not try to walk one time, fall down, then decide “oh maybe walking isn’t for me, maybe I will just crawl my whole life.”  Children persevere.  They stand up take a step and fall down.  They bump into stuff and fall over.  In spite of all that, they try again. What they do best is getting back up.  They try and fail in a continuous cycle until they are able to walk without falling.  They simply walk around without the slightest thought of the many struggles they had prior.    If children can utilize their failures to better themselves, why can’t adults?  The truth of the matter is that we can and we should.

Personally, I have failed many times and many times I have felt frustrated and wanted to quit. Trust me, there were times that I did quit.   Looking back now, I don’t regret failing at those things, I regret quitting because of the thought of failing again.  I didn’t persevere; I simply gave up. Now I’ve come to terms with those failures and have changed my thoughts on failure.  Today I embrace that I am stronger than I once was because of failure.  You can also embrace failure.

You’re going about your day reading this blog, likely thinking to yourself of something that you’ve failed at.  As you think of it, that something might still irritate you.  Don’t let it.  Change your thoughts to capitalize on failure.  Use failures to propel you into a lifelong success story.  Success takes time.  Nothing worth having is ever easy to obtain, because if it was, every single person in the world would have it.

One of the hardest parts that comes with failing is maintaining a positive attitude.  It’s hard to fail and remain positive.  However, remaining positive is essential.  By allowing that failure to define you, you allow your mind to make excuses as to why you shouldn’t succeed.  If you let go of those toxic thoughts and reshape your brain into thinking there are more chances, you will eventually achieve!  Your mind will come up with solutions instead of problems leading you to success in the area that you once failed at. Success will be that much sweeter.

 

 

 

 

James A. Lovejoy

 

Don’t forget to like the post and subscribe to my email listing.  It’s the fastest way to know when there is new content.  I promise I won’t spam your email. Something you want to learn or hear about?  Send me a message or email.  Further get involved in the conversation below.  I would love to hear everyone’s thoughts.

Angel Flight

My original plan for the week was to write a follow up blog on personal finance and how credit scores can give you an advantage.  Instead, I want to focus on something more close to my heart that happened on Monday July 10th.  A military KC-130 aircraft with 16 military members on board had crashed.  The accident happened approximately 4 P.M local time in Mississippi and included 15 Marines and 1 Navy Sailor.

This story is close to my heart for many reasons but for two prominent reasons.  The first reason being, I lost a family member while she was serving in the Army.  The second being that I, myself, am part of the C-130 community as a C-130 mechanic in the Air Force.  I wanted to express my condolences for the situation at hand.

As many people do not know, when an aircraft crashes (military or civilian) an investigation is launched.  The investigation is led by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and aided by the owning agencies and aviation experts.  These investigations are extraordinarily thorough. They cover what happened and determine the “probable cause” of the accident.  But what these investigations do not explain is the heartache that comes with such a tragedy.  The heartache that is instilled in the family of the loved ones involved. The pain they feel as they hear the news of the incident was likely immense.  A pain that they will slowly learn to live with, yet never forget.

16 people were on board that aircraft.  16 people that raised their right hand and made the decision to serve the United States of America.  Those 16 individuals had families, friends, coworkers, and many other people that cared about them.  People they brought joy, happiness, laughter, memories, and most importantly love to.

Being in the C-130 community, I may have never known these people, but I feel deeply saddened by such a catastrophic event.  I just want to personally thank each and every one of the people that serve alongside me in the United States military and further ask that everyone keep these 16 members and their families in your thoughts.

 

 

 

 

James A. Lovejoy

 

**  For those that don’t know, an Angel Flight is the flight that is used to carry Military Members home after they have passed away in the line of duty.  It is flown by a C-130 and offers a salute by shooting flares in the shape of an angel for the fallen.

How to get YOURSELF out of Debt!

So maybe you just graduated college and have some student loans.  Or maybe you have a car loan and some excess credit card debt that has collected.  Or maybe you just simply didn’t have a good grasp on your financial situation (don’t worry most of us don’t).   But now you’re in a much better position financially to pay off your debt.  And your curious on how.

Well for starters, if you can avoid further debt, do so.  This will help tremendously when paying off your current debt.  The next thing you should do is create yourself a basic budget.  It doesn’t have to be complex.  You can even scour Google in order to find a premade outline.  One I like to use is from Moneysmart.Gov.AU.  From there I just search basic budget.  I use premade budgets, because while I have a good financial sense and understand how to do my own, it just saves me time. Once you find/ create yourself a budget the next steps fall in line fairly easily.

After determining your budget and your monthly bills you need to start paying off your debt.  The way that I did this was by paying the minimum on all my debts.  Wait what?!  Yes the minimum on all of your debts.  This prevents them from going to a collection agency and shows debtors that you are paying on your loan, which will save your credit score.

The next thing you want to do is pay any extra money you have each month to the least dollar amount debt item you currently have.  This money should be found after you create your budget.  For example if you have a credit card debt of $500 and a car loan of $10,000.  You will simply pay the minimum on the car loan and the extra money you have each month towards the credit card.  This puts you in a position to pay the least interest and pay it off faster.

After paying off your credit card is, funnel 100% of the money, that you were using to pay off the card, towards that to the next highest debt you have.  Using the example above, this would mean that if you paid $100 a month on your credit card, after it is paid off you would funnel that $100 to the minimum you are already paying on your car loan each month until it is paid off.  This method works for multiple debts. Start with the smallest debt then worked my way up to the largest debt. Eventually, assuming you don’t continue to borrow money, you will be debt free.

This is the exact method that I used in order to pay off over $28,000 in debt. I would know from my personal experience.  I paid off my car, motorcycle, cell phone and credit card in less than 3 years, while still saving and attending college full time.  Luckily, I was able to receive a decent amount of scholarships and only had to pay around $4,000-5,000 out of pocket every year.  But using this method I was able to save enough to pay everything down to 0 as well as continue my education.  It wasn’t easy and like any normal person I would make slip ups and buy things I didn’t need or take the occasional vacation.  That is normal and it happens to everyone.  As long as you pay attention to your long term goal you will achieve it!!  Good luck everyone!!

 

Something you want to learn or hear about??  Comment below?  Have another perspective on how to lower your debt let me know below as well!  I love hearing from you.  Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter if you like the content!!

 

 

 

James A. Lovejoy

Emotional Intelligence? What is That?

When talking in terms of how “smart” a person is typically, only one thing comes to mind… “Someone who does well in school or has a high IQ”.  But is that accurate?  Well as I’m sure you can imagine the answer depends on the desired result.

So if you are the type of person who enjoys going to school and learning new things.  Things such as math and science.  And are good at them then you may have a higher IQ than normal.  But what does that mean?  Well it simply means that you’re on average “smarter” than the total population.  But smarter in what ways?  Well you’re likely better at problem solving using the logical portion of your brain.  You may be able to fully solve the amount of fuel needed for an aircraft to take a long 8 hour flight. Calculating the different variables, which include wind speed and direction, aircraft weight, and other aerodynamic forces that an aircraft may encounter.  But if your brain is not wired in that way there is STILL HOPE!!

Google’s definition of Emotional Intelligence is “the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically”.  Summed up this means being self-aware.  But why does this matter?  Well it matters because being self-aware is what helps many of the most successful people become successful.  In fact, J.D. Rockefeller is a perfect example of an emotionally intelligent businessman.  J.D. Rockefeller was the founder of the Standard Oil Company in 1870.  This company controlled over 90% of the oil supply in the United States during its peak!  But do you think Rockefeller was the one that decided where to dig for oil?  Where to distribute?  How to refine the oil?  If you’re thinking ABSOLUTELY NOT then you are ABSOLUTELY CORRECT!

Rockefeller was a very “smart” man there is no denying that.  But he made most of his money with the help of others.  He understood how to speak to others in a way that motivated them to want to help him, as well as, themselves.  He would work with people and listen to all sorts of advice on what to do next with the company.  Rockefeller had a tremendous hold on emotional intelligence.  He understood how to motivate people and used his interpersonal skills to build an empire!

So now you’re likely wondering how you can be more emotionally intelligent?  Well for starters just knowing about emotional intelligence is huge step!  Since you are aware that it exists, you can now start to take steps in honing your skills.  One way I choose to master these skills was through reading and reflection.  There are many great books out there on emotional intelligence and self-awareness.  Two I recommend are Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Coleman, and How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie.  Both books offer valuable insight on a wide variety of issues.  And as for reflection, I would just suggest you schedule some downtime in your day to reflect on who you are, where you are headed, and where you want to be.  So now the question from the first paragraph comes back.  What is your desired result?

 

 

 

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James A. Lovejoy