Chapter 250 Run Your Financial Side of Your Life like it is a Multi-National “Business”…and watch Your Expenses

Central to all successful companies is thriftiness.  I once read that the acclaimed investor Warren Buffet invested in two separate companies after seeing serious thriftiness.  At one company whose name I don’t recall, the CEO came out to meet him in overalls and did not have a secretary or separate luxury office.  He bought the company right then and there.  At another company, when the CEO was asked about buying a Christmas Tree for the annual office party, the CEO said firmly “no” and told the company employees to raise the funds themselves if they so wanted.  Major thriftiness=Major success.

I am of course not suggesting your income sources will grow to the size of the General Electric Company, but you can see why it has been a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average for a 100 years (and the only one left of the original 30).  They make everything from light bulbs to Hospital CT Scan machines.  They make airplane engines, have a GE finance side.  They have their investments in everything.  That provides the company with so much dexterity and diversification compared to a company which makes just one product.

And if you are living your life as a corporation runs its operations, you must keep a very close tab on expenses as they all stare at their balance sheets every day.  Moving to the analogy of your own life, it means putting a solid curb on your material wants/needs. Change your thinking to your own self being like a large company.  Large successful companies do not throw money around.  They don’t buy luxury company jets.  They send their officers on commercial planes.

On your personal level, you may “think” you need that new expensive glamorous “purse”, but you really don’t.  Why do you need to have a collection of a 1000 DVDs if you get bored watching the same movie more than once?  Do you really need a second vacation home?  Do you need a designer watch?  Do you need an expensive membership in a golf club?  Do you have to have designer clothes?  You really don’t need any of that.  Must you have all your meals out on the town?  Do you need a new leased car every three years with all the frills?

If your equanimity and peace should last, you need to curb your greed and bring your spending down to the minimum, or at the very least, well within your means.  Just like a real company does…when a real company saves money, they pore it into a branch called R & D (or Research and Development).  That is the same as your continuous thinking, writing, and testing new ideas for income generation.

The ideas we are discussing that you can turn into profit centers need time and at least a little money.  If you want to chase your dreams then proceed towards that with all your energy as there are endless possibilities, but you must at the same time curb your materialism.  Living well beneath your means affords you the time and money, and lowers your stress levels, just like a major corporation that can weather economic storms while trying out new ideas after researching them.

Remember what Equanimity really means:  an “evenness of mind”, a quality of remaining calm and undisturbed; composure; emotional stability at all times.  Living well beneath your means allows you the mental softness and flexibility to go about your plans without worrying about a giant lump sum payment on your credit card for something you don’t even remember spending your money on.

At any income level, if you just have to have an expensive Mercedes Benz in your driveway for your neighbors to envy, a 5000 sq ft McMansion to show off to your friends, fancy new clothes, jewelry, accessories, new iPad, iPod, etc., then you will never be free, ever.  Even if you became an oil tycoon, you will not be free to enjoy your life if you are drowning in status and materialism.  Rampant materialism is like a cancer that will eat up all your organs.  You will simply spend everything that comes in.  You will buy more homes, have expensive silver and gold collections, artwork, etc.  There is no end to greed and being pompous.

This does not mean that you never enjoy yourself.  If your businesses you created thrive, there is nothing wrong with a little spending now and then.  But when you are starting out, begin small and keep your spending to a minimum until your ideas (and income) gather steam and blossom.

As I have shared, I still spend money on myself now and then, but just like the weather and economic tides, when things slow down, I have trained myself to be happy on very very little income.  So much so that my friends are in awe.  Regardless, I have self confidence and inspiration that I can rise again in my path in economic freedom from a traditional 9 to 5 job.  Just relax, find peace and equanimity…out there is a field where you and I are the same.  Let’s meet there someday…


About youngkim3000

I grew up in Virginia and went to a top tier high school, being so ambitious and wanting fame and fortune like the next kid. I received good grades and then I went off to the University of Chicago where I majored in Psychology and Economics. After a brief but successful "Wall Street" career, I realized that I was not happy and left thinking that a career in the medical field would satisfy me. Then, I did some post Bac work at Northwestern and UIC, and then ended up at UIC Medical School. The problem was I was not happy there either. The structure, the repetition, and lack of being able to be free and spontaneously creative really knocked me down. Having to be subject to constant subjective evaluations sucked my soul dry. As I sought another chapter in my life, then came the financial collapse of 2008-9 which destroyed the "nest egg" and saving that I had worked so hard to build after college--which I so "identified with". I was so depressed at the loss of career and the loss of money that I fell into self pity and a deep seated depression. For weeks on end, I could not even get out of bed. I went to many doctors who could not really help me. I took so much anti-depressant medication and also self medicated with alcohol to dull my mind. One day though, I went to the public library in Niles, IL, and picked up some books on "Self-Help". I figured what do I have to lose? I was already so depressed I could barely get through a day. I picked up books by Wayne Dyer (Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life), Deepak Chopra, Louis Hay, Ram Dass, Osho, and Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth), The Dalai Lama, and revisited my faith in Catholicism. I devoured so many books to unearth just why I was suffering so much. I learned so much about myself and realized that my deep suffering was actually a gift for me to discover myself. Simply put, those words in those books saved my life. I was taking so many drugs and my physical health was in serious jeopardy. I realized that I could not live with myself any longer, and I needed to be free. I realized...that it was my own thoughts that were making me so depressed, as was my own "life story" that I replayed over and over. I realized that my mind was busy creating negative thoughts. Thoughts are "things" and expand. I understood that you do not "normally" choose your thoughts. Just like the digestion of a meal, the mind automatically creates all kinds of thoughts whether you like it or not. Just like you do not "choose" to breathe with your lungs or "choose" to make urine from your kidneys, you "normally" do not "choose" your own thoughts. They just happen, just like digestion. And if you had a bad experience, your mind recreates the negative thoughts without your conscious consent but you are forced to relive them endless times per day. It is only through CONSCIOUS INTERVENTION that you can make your mind change course from recycling negative thoughts. This is just like your breathing. You breathe automatically, but you CAN choose to influence your breathing, you can hold your breath if you are going to dive deep in the water, or you can consciously "slow down" your breath if you are relaxing in meditation and prayer. Once I realized I did in fact have an ability to control my thoughts, I consciously redirected the thoughts to positive uplifting notions. I noted that I had built such a large ego that the collapse of it dragged me down in catastrophic fashion. A big ego is different from self esteem. Both were destroyed, but I learned to regain self esteem through positive affirmations and knowing that the negative thoughts are not reality. I was choosing definitively to live in the past via my repetitive thoughts. I was also choosing to live in an uncertain future that I painted with dreadful possibilities. I realized that if I live in the "now", the present moment, I really did not have any reason to be depressed at all. I discovered I really only live in the "now". The past and future are fictions. It is akin to a motorboat on the water on a lake. The "wake" that the boat produces is the past, my vision of the future is what I can see in front of me, but I really only exist ON the boat in the present moment. I was living my life only on the "wake" created many meters before. Soon, my self-pity slowly subsided as I learned to accept "what is" and not grasp for anything and everything that is valued by Society. I concurred that it was my own "expectations" not realized that were causing such waves of discontent. Once I dropped my self imposed sad "life story", my yesterdays, I came to my senses that there was no need to feel upset at all. That realization hit me like "a ton of bricks" and quickly lifted me out of the well, like a rope thrown down the dark walls of the deep well. I would like to share that it was only that single moment of enlightenment, a "satori" event that forever changed my life, but that was not so. It was a gradual climb out of the abyss (over about a year). I realized that my mind was like a superhighway of blazing thoughts that went through my mind over and over based on the recent past. While my "life story" was going great, I believed in those thoughts, and my ego grew such that I became arrogant and sometimes unkind. Then when my "life story" changed for the worse, I similarly believed in those new negative thoughts with the same passion (which hurt me so deeply throughout my waking hours). I noted to myself that this was why I craved so many "tranquilizers" and medicines that would halt my thoughts. I realized that I was drowning in my negative thoughts and that I was CHOOSING to believe in them. But I learned through focusing on positive affirmations, meditation and prayer, I did not need any more drugs to "halt" my mind from stabbing me to death. Through the filter of society's measure I had evaluated my own life, unable to fully realize that it was all a fiction that my mind had created. I was completely unable to live in the present before this profound awakening. My life had turned into a constant "replay" of the past, the anxiety of the uncertain future...and my destroyed ego. Because of my belief that my thoughts were the ultimate truth, I suffered so deeply... but needlessly. Once I changed the direction of my thoughts, everything changed. The way I looked at my own life changed. I realized that LIFE is not a long emergency where the one with the most toys at the end wins. I realized LIFE is something to be lived fully, and joyfully...not some series of problems to be solved. Once I realized these insights, I realized that I was the creation of my own depression. Although a devout Catholic, I am also deeply moved by the ideals of Buddhism. About Karma and "Dependent Arising"...both of which are also in the Bible (Galations 6, Do not be deceived, God will not be mocked, a person always reaps what they sow). And I was...for the better part of my life, a runaway train into disaster that I was blind to...that I had planted the seeds onto. Putting money, fame, accolades, trophies, and so forth as the ultimate end to my goals sowed the seeds of psychological calamity when the inevitable tides of change occurs in every life. A person who extols those superficial qualities dooms himself/herself to disaster. The only variable is "time". Would it take a long time to find yourself in a train wreck or a short time? It doesn't matter. What matters is how soon can you realize the truth of existence and your place in it...and rise above what Society tries to focus you to believe. Society always makes you compare yourself to others, Society never leaves you alone to just be yourself. You have to exert effort and unlearn what Society has poisoned you with. I am now doing various "work" (not holding down any soul sucking corporate job), teaching, making money through various income sources like buying items at rummage sales and reselling them through Craigslist, asking neighbors and doing work they need, trading stock options when my financial tools indicate that there is a good trade. I am not focused on any "ladder to climb" or any "prestigious career"...and I am so much happier and at peace. I'd rather be "waterboarded" that go back to Corporate America. I have also a solid equanimity, and i am OK with whatever happens, and thus accept what God and the Universe wish for me. I wish to share my newly found wisdom and hope that my story and my interpretation of my newly found contentment can benefit others and I also wish to hear similar stories of awakening. God Bless, thanks for reading my "profile" and leave me your stories of awakening. Outside somewhere is a field where all of us are the same, I cannot wait to see you there...Namaste...
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