respect http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/6360/all en-US My best posts that got no attention http://www.wisebread.com/my-best-posts-that-got-no-attention <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/my-best-posts-that-got-no-attention" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bridge-over-copper-slough.jpg" alt="Bridge over copper slough" title="Bridge over Copper Slough" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="282" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A few times I've written a post that I thought was good, but that seemed to vanish into the blogosphere without a trace. On my two-year anniversary of writing for Wise Bread, I'm going to link to five of them and suggest that you take a look at them. For a few long-time readers it may be a second look. (But, judging from the number of reads these got, not many.)</p> <p>A year ago I wrote an anniversary post called <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-ive-been-trying-to-say">What I've been trying to say</a> that tried to synthesize a unified message out of the posts I'd written in my first year of posting. As the time approached to write a second anniversary post, though, I realized that I was still pretty happy with that summary of my basic message--I didn't have a lot to add.</p> <p>So, you're getting this instead.</p> <h2>And did you do it with respect?</h2> <p>Due to a posting glitch, this particular post never got its turn at the top of the front page, so a lot of people never saw it--and I've always been bummed, because I thought it was really good.</p> <p>I never liked the aphorisms &quot;Always do your best&quot; or &quot;Anything worth doing is worth doing well,&quot; because I never found them to be useful guides when I was trying to decide what to do or how hard to try. A while back, though, I found an alternative that works for me.&nbsp; That's what this post is about:&nbsp; <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/and-did-you-do-it-with-respect"><strong>And did you do it with respect?</strong></a></p> <h2>Fix energy in tangible form</h2> <p>I wrote this long before last summer's energy price spike, but it didn't seem to draw much interest. I thought it was important, though--and I thought the energy spike might have given readers a new perspective--so, when energy prices fell again, I wrote a new post on the same topic:&nbsp; <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/invest-some-of-this-cheap-energy"> <strong>Invest some of this cheap energy</strong></a>.&nbsp;</p> <p>If you want to do <em>one thing</em> that won't cost much now but will raise your standard of living for years to come, this is it. Energy prices are rising again, but it's not too late to permanently capture some of this still-cheap energy: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fix-energy-in-tangible-form"><strong>Fix energy in tangible form</strong></a>.</p> <h2>What would da Vinci have paid?</h2> <p>There are certain things (like fountain pens and mechanical watches) that used to be incredibly expensive miracles of engineering--but nowadays something as good or better can be made so cheaply people give them away for free. The point of this article was to get people to think about the implications, but I guess it looked a lot like a &quot;deals&quot; post--and as a &quot;deals&quot; post, it's a pretty lame one. So I suppose it's no surprise that it didn't get many reads or comments.&nbsp; Give it a second chance as a &quot;think&quot; piece:&nbsp; <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-would-da-vinci-have-paid"><strong>What would da Vinci have paid?</strong></a></p> <h2>How low interest rates might save the world</h2> <p>This last one, I guess, was just too wonky--it's about present value and the discount rate. But present value is <em>the key</em> to making smart economic decisions--both personal economic decisions (like how much more to pay for something that'll last twice as long as the cheap one) and big policy decisions (like whether interest rates are too low). Understand this and every economic decision gets easier:&nbsp; <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-low-interest-rates-might-save-the-world"><strong>How low interest rates might save the world</strong></a></p> <p>You don't have to fear a series of posts like this--those are the ones that I thought were worth more attention than they got. I'll be back to writing new posts as usual in a couple of days.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-best-posts-that-got-no-attention">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/i-turn-down-free-money">I turn down free money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/invest-some-of-this-cheap-energy">Invest some of this cheap energy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-three-interest-rates">The Three Interest Rates</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-common-excuses-for-not-saving-money">6 Common Excuses for Not Saving Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/six-ways-to-stay-warm-and-reduce-the-heating-bill">Six Ways to Stay Warm and Reduce the Heating Bill</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance da vinci energy interest rates respect Sun, 12 Jul 2009 12:00:37 +0000 Philip Brewer 3369 at http://www.wisebread.com And did you do it with respect? http://www.wisebread.com/and-did-you-do-it-with-respect <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/and-did-you-do-it-with-respect" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/wall-at-helsingor.jpg" alt="Stone wall outside the castle at Helsingor" title="Wall at Helsingor castle" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="200" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A few years back, I read a profile of a holistic fitness guru.&nbsp; There was a sidebar with a little quiz the author had talked the guru into creating, to find out how comprehensively fit you were.&nbsp; The author had clearly expected a some serious fitness tests--how far you could run, how much could you lift?&nbsp; The guru, though, had a rather playful idea of what was involved in being really fit.&nbsp; I've forgotten most of the questions, but one has stuck with me:&nbsp; (for two points) Did you prepare a meal today, and if so, did you do it with respect?</p> <p>For me, this question has replaced two classic rules of thumb, which I've always found to be unhelpful.&nbsp; Both address a question I'm keenly interested in:&nbsp; How do I decide how much time and effort to allocate to my various tasks each day?</p> <h2>Always do your best</h2> <p>I find &quot;Always do your best&quot; to be worthless advice, because it's impossible to follow:&nbsp; There's almost nothing I do that I couldn't do better if I spent a few hours practicing, or if I spent a day or two studying it, or if I simply put aside all the other things I need to do and focused on that one thing.&nbsp; If I did that, though, I wouldn't be able to do anything else.</p> <p>Over the years, I've mentioned the problem I have with this aphorism to various people.&nbsp; Some people have said, &quot;Well, obviously it doesn't mean that!&quot;&nbsp; But they've never been able tell me what it does mean, at least not in any way that lets me answer practical questions like how much time I ought to spend scrubbing the toilet.</p> <h2>Anything worth doing is worth doing well</h2> <p>The problem with &quot;Anything worth doing is worth doing well&quot; is that it's clearly false:&nbsp; There are <strong>plenty</strong> of things that are worth doing, even if you can only do them middling well, or even poorly.</p> <p>All kinds of athletic and artistic endeavors are worth doing poorly&mdash;running is not just for world-class athletes and drawing is not just for skilled artists.&nbsp; Things like chatting with friends, reading, listening to good music, and making love are all worth doing, no matter whether you do them well or poorly.</p> <p>Now, even someone as literal-minded as I sometimes am can see that this aphorism is not intended to mean &quot;Don't do anything unless you're skilled at it.&quot;&nbsp; To the extent that it means &quot;If you're going to be doing something regularly, go ahead and take the time to get good at it,&quot; it's not bad advice, but there are exceptions even to that.&nbsp; (Does singing hymns every week at church mean that you ought to take voice lessons?&nbsp; How much study should go into developing your lawn-mowing expertise?)</p> <p>So, once again, I find that this aphorism doesn't guide me in answering the question that I think it should answer:&nbsp; How do I decide how to divide my time and effort among the various things I think are worth doing? It would seem to suggest that I should rank my activities by how well I can do them and then draw a line below the last one I can do well. But that's a dumb way to decide what makes the cut and what doesn't. What about things that need to get done? What about things I could do well with a bit more practice? For that matter, what about the things I could do well, but only after years of study and concentrated effort?</p> <p>I'd be willing to admit that perhaps I'm asking too much from a rule of thumb, except that I've found one that works for me.</p> <h2>And did you do it with respect?</h2> <p>When I read that question in the magazine quiz, it seemed to me here was some real guidance. Anything worth doing is worth doing with respect. Whether you were teaching a child, singing, or cleaning a toilet, the question to ask is not &quot;Did I do the best I could?&quot; Instead, ask &quot;Did I do it with respect?&quot;</p> <p>If it isn't worth doing with respect, it's probably not worth doing (which frees up some time in your schedule).&nbsp; And part of respecting the task is to give some thought as to whether or not it would be worth the effort to improve your skill in doing it--and, if the answer is yes, to do so.</p> <p>When I can look back on the day's activities and feel that most things I did, I did with respect, I have a strong sense that the day was well spent.</p> <p>And, when there are things I don't think are worth doing, but that I have to do anyway (because otherwise I'd lose my job, or make my spouse unhappy, or get sent to prison), I try to do them with respect anyway.&nbsp; Occasionally, I find that particular task (or a small piece of it) actually is worth doing.&nbsp; Further, when I do a task with respect, I'm in a much better position to make the case later that it doesn't need doing.&nbsp; The main reason, though, is that doing work you don't respect is a soul-destroying activity.</p> <p>Look back at each thing you do and ask yourself, &quot;And did I do it with respect?&quot; It's the most powerful tool I know for allocating your time and effort where they belong.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/and-did-you-do-it-with-respect">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-finding-legitimate-work-at-home-opportunities">Tips for Finding Legitimate Work at Home Opportunities</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-stages-of-procrastination-read-this-right-now">The 7 Stages of Procrastination (Read This Right Now!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-critical-steps-to-protect-your-data-in-the-cloud">10 Critical Steps to Protect Your Data in the Cloud</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/that-what-if-you-knew-you-were-going-to-die-question">That &quot;What if you knew you were going to die&quot; question</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-soda-tidy-a-room-in-three-minutes-cure-a-hangover-and-become-a-movie-extra-phew">How To Make Your Own Soda, Tidy A Room In Three Minutes, Cure A Hangover And Become A Movie Extra. Phew!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Productivity priorities respect Fri, 04 Jan 2008 21:22:54 +0000 Philip Brewer 1586 at http://www.wisebread.com The things that money just can't buy http://www.wisebread.com/the-things-that-money-just-cant-buy <p><img src="/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/peace.jpg" alt="peace" title="peace" width="300" height="224" /></p> <p>After reading Ed&#39;s post about <a href="/do-you-have-what-you-want-and-do-you-want-what-you-have">Afluenza</a> , I began thinking long and hard about what I have in my life that really matters to me. It&#39;s all very well keeping up with the Joneses, but at the end of the day it really doesn&#39;t mean anything. I was talking to a fireman a few months ago and he said that time after time, the things people run back into a blazing house for are not valuable (as far as other people are concerned). It&#39;s not the big-screen TV or the gold Rolex. No, it&#39;s the family photo albums, the teddy bear granny gave you 30 years ago, or the love letters from your sweetheart who is now your loving partner. </p> <!--break--><!--break--><p>So really, what are the things in life that truly matter? What is it that we&#39;re all searching for, and that no amount of money can buy? I think I have a list. It may not be the list you would attribute to yourself, it may not even be complete as far as you&#39;re concerned. But I think most of us would like the things contained within my list. And there&#39;s not a shiny Porsche or a 4000 sq ft house anywhere on it.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Love<br /></strong>I would be a fool not to put it first. I think at the end of the day, no amount of money and &#39;stuff&#39; can fill the void left by a lack of real love. Let&#39;s be clear, I&#39;m not talking about the kind of love you can get by flashing your BMW key fob at a bar in the hopes of trading money for a soul-mate (who&#39;ll leave you as soon as the money runs out). It&#39;s the love you get from your partner, when you look into his or her eyes and feel whole, safe and secure. It&#39;s the love of your child, hugging you for dear life and begging you not to go to work today. It&#39;s love that comes with no strings. Unconditional. Rich or poor. Good times and bad. If I were to measure my wealth by the love I get from my wife, my daughters and my close family, well, I&#39;d be right up there with Mr. Gates. </p> <p><strong>Respect</strong><br />Once again, as with many things on this list, you can buy a version of respect. Of course you can. The fawning that store-owners will do around wealthy people (remember the Pretty Woman scene?) could be taken as respect. Or the suck-ups in the office who&#39;ll do anything to get the attention of the big boss; that could also be considered as respect. But is it? It&#39;s a simple solve. Take away the money and power and is the respect still there? Sometimes it is. I&#39;ve had some great bosses, with amazing hearts and awe-inspiring values. Rich or poor, I&#39;d be tipping my head with respect. I&#39;ve also had complete egotistical maniac bosses, surrounded by people with venom in their eyes and hate filling their souls. Take the power and money away from my last boss and there&#39;d be people waiting in line to kick this guy where it hurts. Respect has to be earned, not bought. You actions define it, and your history with people is key. Be honest, be true, and treat others as you yourself would like to be treated. Be fair, be kind, be strong, be thoughtful and be inspiring. Respect will follow, whether you&#39;ve got $6 billion in the bank, or $60. </p> <p><strong>Friendship</strong><br />I was once told that the friends you keep are a good indication of what kind of person you are. I took a look at my close circle of friends, and I was quite happy with what I saw. Funny, honest, caring, genuine people. The kind of people that make you happy to go to work every day. The folks that would give you their last dime if you needed it. I don&#39;t have a lot of friends. But every one of them is a great person with a kind heart. If you want, you can buy friendships as easily as you can buy a new suit. But those kind of friends will not stick by you through bad times. Most won&#39;t even stay through mediocre times. So, take a look at the people who really mean the world to you. Think of the people you&#39;d want by you when times are a little rough. You&#39;ll see that those kind of friends are absolutely priceless. </p> <p><strong>Forgiveness</strong><br />I&#39;m talking about true forgiveness here, not the kind you get for muttering a half-hearted apology under your breath (while giving a cheap gift you picked up at the drug store). Real forgiveness for something bad you&#39;ve done can&#39;t be bought. You can&#39;t bribe someone to forget the past. I doubt even Donald Trump, with all his supposed billions, could buy the forgiveness of anyone he&#39;s truly wounded deeply. The only way to get it, if you&#39;re going to get it at all, is by earning it. By proving that you not only feel genuinely bad about what you did, but also that their forgiveness means everything to you. Try handing over $10,000 and saying &quot;hey, I&#39;m sorry I slept with your best friend and your mom...at the same time.&quot; </p> <p><strong>Happiness</strong><br />Yes, it&#39;s a cliche. I think that a severe lack of money can make you unhappy, but I&#39;d say that no amount of money can make you genuinely happy. I&#39;ve read stories of lottery winners who wished they&#39;d never seen a dime. Their friends turned on them, they were harrassed day and night. How many rich celebs are in rehab or seeing therapists because they are unhappy? &quot;More money, more problems&quot; seems so often the case. Now, don&#39;t get me wrong. I&#39;m not saying I wouldn&#39;t like a little more cash. But I&#39;m already happy with my life. I love my family, my friends, my job. But if you&#39;re sat there thinking money will make everything great, and if you only had $1 million you&#39;d be so much happier, I&#39;m fairly positive that the short-lived elation will be replaced by depression soon enough. </p> <p><strong>Talent</strong><br />I struggled with this one for a while. After all, I&#39;d hate to stop parents putting their kids through piano classes, art classes, singing lessons and so on. But I genuinely believe that true talent cannot be bought, only improved upon. Take a look at the infamous Paris Hilton to see that no amount of money could make her a good singer or actress. And yet musicians, sports stars and actors around the world often emerge from very poor backgrounds. I myself have no real talent for grammar or prose (you simply need to read any of my posts to see that I am far from eloquent). But I do have a way of motivating people, which is why I landed a job in advertising. My wife is pursuing a career in photography because both myself and my friends saw in her a natural talent. An eye for a great picture. The technical stuff, that can be learned and paid for through classes. But raw talent...now that&#39;s not for sale at any price (sorry Mr. Federline, you can&#39;t pick it up at WalMart on special).</p> <p><strong>Immortality </strong><br />Obviously no-one can live forever. But people try and live on through art, literature, music and other such pursuits. Sure, you can erect a giant statue of yourself or buy a whole bunch of buildings (Mr. Trump is constantly trying to buy his way into the history books). But in the end, it&#39;s not money but our actions that can get us ever-lasting life. The great thinkers and musicians of our time did not purchase a ticket to fame...they earned it. From Einstein to The Beatles, Archimedes to Mozart, real immortality comes not from a big pile of gold but huge pile of talent and perseverence.</p> <p><strong>Peace </strong><br />I saved the biggest till last. Peace cannot come from a fat wallet or bank vault. Real peace comes from ideas. Talking, thinking, and being empathetic and understanding every single day can bring about more peace than any money could ever buy. If we were all just a little more tolerant of other people, a little more forgiving and a little less obsessed with the mighty dollar, we may just see that money really isn&#39;t what life is all about. It&#39;s about loving your neighbor, caring for your family and telling your friends how much they mean to you. It&#39;s not going to solve world hunger immediately, it&#39;s not going to put an end to the war in Iraq. But at the end of the day, if we could all just see that we&#39;re not all that different and our petty squabbles are just that, then maybe we could move an inch closer to Nirvana here on Earth. </p> <p>I know this whole post has made me wide open to all sorts of comments and criticism, but I&#39;ll take it all in my stride. Is it so bad to want things to be better? And is it really so bad to say that the biggest and best things in your life don&#39;t have to cost you a penny? Now that&#39;s what living large on a small budget is all about my friends. Peace out.</p> <p><a href="http://www.sxc.hu/photo/792553"><em>Inspiring photo from The Stock Exchange </em></a> </p> <p><a href="http://www.sxc.hu/photo/792553"><em> </em></a> </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-things-that-money-just-cant-buy">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-you-say-no-to-those-who-want-to-borrow-money-from-you">When Should You Say No to Those Who Want to Borrow Money from You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-does-being-rich-mean-to-you-anyway">What Does Being Rich Mean to You Anyway?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-same-actions-will-produce-the-same-results-ten-tenets-for-arranging-your-rich-part-2">The Same Actions Will Produce The Same Results (Ten Tenets for Arranging Your Rich: Part 2)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/book-review-rich-like-them-by-ryan-dagostino">Book Review: Rich Like Them by Ryan D&#039;Agostino</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-should-your-kids-know-about-your-finances">How Much Should Your Kids Know About Your Finances?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Lifestyle forgiveness friends happiness love money peace respect talent wealth Mon, 25 Jun 2007 04:19:43 +0000 Paul Michael 762 at http://www.wisebread.com