Ethics in a Chaotic World

Blogger Ron Mercer recently posted an interesting article about maintaining your ethics in a chaotic world. Mercer points out that for many people today’s world seems more chaotic. He observes, “Watching the news, reading about Fortune 500 companies that disregard the public trust, politicians that cannot get anything accomplished except destroying their counterparts, countries poised to fire long-range missiles into other countries’ territories, stock markets that keep rising on the back of world central banks printing every more money to keep a false narrative alive seem normal any more.  It’s not! Yes, what is up seems down.  Sometimes good old common sense is lost in decision-making.  The world seems to be upside down.”

We surely live in a world of rapid change, more rapid than at any time in human experience. For many, especially for older people, it seems like increasing chaos. Mercer’s message is the importance of maintaining your ethical behavior in such chaos – despite the chaos and because of it. He reminds us of 5 key things we must do consistently to maintain that ethical standard:

  • Just because it is popular does not mean it is right – do what is right not necessarily what is popular.
  • Obey the law.
  • Beware of too much convenience – ethical behavior keeps an eye on long term benefits which are not always gained through convenience.
  • When no one is watching behave as though everyone is watching.
  • Beware of unnecessary complexity.

These are good guidelines for maintaining our values and ethics. I suggest you check out Mercer’s post to get the details – his explanations are very well done.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com

Godin on the Candy Diet

I talk a lot here about how important it is to continually learn. There is a tendency in American society to learn less, especially in the popular media. Seth Godin, one of my favorite bloggers, touches on this in his January 4, 2017 blog post. As always Godin is pithy and concise although this post is longer than most he writes.

It is not that popular media used to be an intellectual gold mine. It has always been more about entertainment than about knowledge. That is what people want to see. They want candy for the eyes and ears. Godin’s point is valid however. American mainstream television is horrible. I stopped watching it three years ago. Newspaper and magazine readership is seriously below where it was a generation ago. People read blogs and snippets and Tweets but they are not as likely to read something that is thoughtful or something that explores ideas in depth.

I do not suggest that everyone must be an intellectual or that there is anything wrong with some light entertainment. I do suggest that there appears to be a dumbing down of media in America and a rejection of knowledge. It is not the first time this has happened. Consider the Know Nothings of the mid 19th century for example. But in the last hundred years I think it has sunk to its lowest level.

While there are significant political and cultural consequences from this dumbing down trend I write about it here because of how it affects people’s ability to increase their level of knowledge and skill in an increasingly competitive world. How are we to seriously compete in a world where we spend more time watching “reality television” than reading a newspaper or a book?

Let me say that I know many people who are serious readers and serious about learning. This trend is by no means universal, it is just too prevalent.

I am curious of this American diet of nonsense has affected other nations and cultures much. I invite my readers from other countries to comment here and let us know. Is this true in the UK, in South Africa, in Japan, in Brazil? If you are from outside the US let us know. Is there a worldwide rejection of knowledge and serious thought?

My hope is that this will turn around. I hope that people will miss deep thought and real information and seek it out. If that does not happen it does not bode well.

What do you think?

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com

Announcing Change in Posting Schedule Here

DRM-3It is time for some changes around here and I will explain what and why in this post.

I have been posting an average of three posts per week here for much of this year. For two important reasons that will now change.

►I am learning that I can post one very high quality post per week or I can post three less than high quality posts per week. You probably do not have more time than I do to read blog posts. You expect the best: posts that are well written and convey useful information. Right? That is what I aim to do: at least one very high quality post per week, usually on Wednesdays. I reserve the right to post more if the need arises. I will guarantee you one per week.

►Blog posts are a great way to inform people. They are readily available, easy to access and they tend to be short so people will read them. Great. But I want to offer more to those of you who wish to dig more deeply into these subjects. I plan to write more books and offer them both as Kindle books and hard copy books. I will also be creating slide show videos. These things take time – lots of time if they are done right– and I am only interested in doing them right.

My aim is to deliver the best product to you in these blog posts. I hope that fewer posts of higher quality will serve you better. If you disagree leave a reply below to let me know.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com

Balance in Life and Work

Balance3aMichael Hyatt tackles the problem of work-life balance. We have all struggled with this to a greater or lesser extent. Achieving any form of balance is a dynamic exercise – ever changing.

Here are Hyatt’s thoughts on this:

A few years ago I took my mentoring group on a ropes course. For one of the challenges, we walked a long stretch of rope that wound around several trees. We had to hold onto each other as we worked our way across the line. 

Here’s what I remember most of all: When we were balanced, it never really felt like we were. Our legs constantly moved and wobbled, and we strained to grip each other and the nearest tree. But we stayed on that line a long time, making little corrections, adjusting our weight, and trying to stay upright. It didn’t feel like balance, but it was. 

That’s exactly how life is, right?

Read the rest here…

I agree with Hyatt. Balance is dynamic and must be intentional. It is never fully accomplished – it is always a work in progress.

What do you do to maintain a good work-life balance?

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com

How to Build a Successful “Shopping Hierarchy”

great_idea2However, there’s stronger strategy you can apply that affects the price of almost everything you buy. I call it the “shopping hierarchy” strategy.

It’s a simple strategy: Whenever you go to a store to buy an item, always start at the store with the lowest prices. If you do this every single time, you’re bound to pay low prices for everything you buy….

Read the rest here…

Hamm offers and intriguing idea here on how to save money. Take a look at the article and then let us know what you think.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com

Investment Advice: For Retirement

Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselvesMichael Lewis wrote a good post on the MoneyCrashers blog about what people who are close to retirement should be looking at for investments. Lewis says:

With age comes wisdom – or, at least, so those of us who are approaching the age of retirement hope. For many people, wisdom includes the recognition that prices of assets can go down as well as up, especially in the short-term. In addition, experience shows that markets do not always reflect underlying values, driven in the short-term more by emotion and psychology than by logic. History is full of companies who have gone public and enjoyed soaring stock prices, only to go bankrupt in the harsh light of economic reality. 

When your targeted retirement is three or four decades in the future, losing significant capital on a high risk investment can be overcome. However, as retirement draws closer, investment periods – the time between making an investment and needing proceeds for living expenses – shrink, increasing the possibility that a loss of capital may never be recovered…. 

Read the rest here…

So if you are within a few years of retirement this article is worth your time to read. If you are young consider telling your parents or grandparents about it. Lewis explains some things about some popular investment vehicles including:

Bonds

Annuities

Mutual Funds

Exchange Traded Funds (ETF)

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)

Master Limited Partnership

Check it out and let us know what you think.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com

Blog of Interest: Time Management Today.com

TimeThis blog which features several authors contains some interesting and in depth articles on time management. The lead article is a review of some good time management tips.

Unless you are lucky enough to be incredibly well organized and efficient, you could probably benefit from some time management tips. It isn’t always easy getting things done, especially if you are juggling school, work and family obligations and the following tips for time management can help you to become more efficient and use your time more usefully….

Read More Here…

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com

Scarcity or Abundance?

great_idea2In this short post, Perceived Scarcity in a World of Outrageous Abundance, by Michael Hyatt he discusses how we see the world in terms of scarcity or abundance. How we view the world has a great impact on how we succeed or fail. How do you see the world? Does your view limit you? I invite you to read Michael’s post and give this some thought. Hyatt starts out:

When we see what others have, is our basic reaction to notice what we’re missing or express gratitude for what we have?

I’ve thought a lot about this question over the years but came back to it recently when I found myself feeling a little jealous over all the vacation posts popping up on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

At some point the serene beaches, beautiful lakes, and mountaintop views started getting to me. I felt like I was missing out. Maybe you’ve felt this way too.

But here’s what’s strange about my reaction: I’m going on vacation in just a few weeks. I’m not missing out on anything. So why do I feel as if I am?

Our Culture of Scarcity

Too often we focus on what we lack instead of what we have. According to researcher Brené Brown, we live in a culture of perceived scarcity, what she calls in Daring Greatly “our culture of ‘never enough.'”…

Read the Rest Here…

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com

Blog Posts of Note

Here are a couple blog posts worth taking a minute to check out.

The Millennial’s Guide to Asset Allocation

What young people need to know about asset allocation in their long term investments. From Mint.com.

Where Ideas Come From

David Lynch on how creativity works on Brain Pickings.

Check out these great blog posts and then come back here if you would and let us know what you think.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com

Great Ideas

great_idea2E.B. White’s wonderful little letter to a man who had lost all faith in humanity. Read it here.

What is Greatness? How is it inspired? Darren Hardy, publisher of Success Magazine, discusses this and has dedicated the next issue of Success Magazine to the subject. Read an Introduction here.

In Coming to Terms: Retirement v Financial Independence JD Roth (founder of Get Rich Slowly.org ) and Mr. Money Mustashe discuss how retirement can be defined in different ways today and how it relates to financial independence.

Six Critical Leadership Moments from the Leading Blog. Henry Evans and Colm Foster in their book Step Up say we need to be aware of these critical moments to improve our leadership effectiveness.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com