Sick and Tired….Escaping the Golden Handcuffs

Golden HandcuffsThe term Golden Handcuffs is often used to describe a financial incentive that keeps an employee from leaving a company. The employee is locked into such a sweet high paying position that they simply can’t afford to leave.

However, this term can be applied to your position in life as well.

Escalating Expenses

When most people get high paying jobs and start earning a lot of money, the first thing that they will do is increase their standard of living to match their new wage. The new flat screen television, the recent model car, the larger house, and the expensive hobbies all start rolling in.

With an increase in salary comes a brand new lifestyle. After all, no matter how much money you are earning, it is the easiest thing in the world to spend it all.

However, what happens when you are sitting on your brand new leather couch, sipping wine from your designer stemware, and you realize that you don’t actually like your job? In fact, you hate it and you wish you could be doing anything else.

You wish you could be able to start your own business, go travelling, or follow your passion to a more rewarding career.

Trapped in a Lifestyle

Unfortunately, if you are spending everything that you are earning (and even going into debt) you are literally trapped in your high paying position. You would love to quit and try something different, but you know that other options out there will not be as high paying as your current position.

With your high mortgage payments, car lease, utility costs, and paying off that new TV you would be bankrupt within a week if you dared to give the job the slip. Any major job change would require stripping your lavish life down and getting rid of all of the luxuries you and your family have become accustomed to.

Avoid the Trap

So how do you avoid this nightmarish scenario? Don’t let yourself get trapped by the Golden Handcuffs in the first place. The trick is to avoid inflating your living expenses to match your income, and always living well within your means. To put it simply: Always spend less than you earn.

It seems simple, but so many people in modern society have been handcuffed. Don’t let yourself become trapped!

If you had taken the high paying job, but stayed in your smaller home with your old car (which works just fine) as well as held off on buying items you could not afford, you would be able to easily make a career switch later on without having any impact on your lifestyle.

In fact, you would probably have money in savings that you could use to travel, start up a business, or pursue your dreams.

Isn’t freedom sweet?


How to Stay Happy When Stuck Indoors This Winter

For those of us living in colder climates, the winter season means shorter days, freezing weather, and being stuck inside the house for long cozy fireplaceperiods of time.

It is easy to get depressed with the lack of sunshine and time spent outdoors, especially if you are the type of person who loves the summer.

If you live in a chilly climate and can’t afford to spend six months in the Bahamas instead, here are a few tips that will help you enjoy the winter season:

  • Open the window for five minutes. Although it is freezing inside, if you keep the house sealed up the air inside will become stale and stuffy which will make you feel tired and low in energy. Let a bit of fresh air in to reinvigorate yourself and breathe easier.
  • Consider bringing some flowers, plants or herbs into your household. When it’s a barren winter wasteland outside we tend to miss all of the living things around us, so having plants inside the house can add fresh air and lovely scents to your life.
  • Having a pet such as a dog, cat, goldfish or bird to spend time with will also help to brighten up the short winter days when you are stuck inside.
  • Let the light in. Even in the depths of winter there are still around 8 hours of natural sunlight, so open up the curtains!
  • Wintertime is a great opportunity to catch up on your “me-time”, so treat yourself to that book that you have been meaning to read or take up a hobby like painting or knitting. In the summertime we sometimes neglect these activities because we spend so much time outside.
  • Get cozy. Pulling yourself out of bed on a dark winter morning is much easier when you don’t have to face the chilling prospect of bare feet on a cold floor. Treat yourself to some fuzzy slippers and warm pajamas to make you more comfortable in the snowy weather.
  • If you can’t afford a trip to Italy, Spain, Mexico or the Caribbean this winter, bring the hot climates to you by learning how to cook a new recipe from these cultures! You could even invite your friends over for spicy tacos and margaritas!
  • Get outside! If the sun comes out, take advantage of this opportunity and go for a walk. It might be cold, but the snowy scenery can be absolutely beautiful. You can also warm yourself up with a hot chocolate when you return!

Have a wonderful and happy winter!

Want a Great Holiday Survival Strategy? How to Take Criticism like a Champion

One of the hardest things in the world can be to receive negative criticism on something we have done. No one wants to feel like they havecritic quote done something wrong and hearing someone talk about our faults and mistakes can make us very frustrated and discouraged.

However, criticism doesn’t have to be so bad when you approach it with the right attitude. In fact, when you think of it in the following way, it can actually benefit you positively and help you improve.

Here is how:

Separate yourself from what is being criticized

Whenever we put our time and effort into doing something or creating something, we inevitably invest a little part of ourselves in it. Therefore, whenever anyone tells us that it is not good, whether it is a dance performance, a chili con carne, or a business report, it is easy to feel hurt.

When someone criticizes your work, you might feel like they are criticizing you as well and their comments can make you feel discouraged and defensive.

The first step to taking criticism like a champion is to completely take yourself and your fragile ego out of the equation. When you do something, make sure that you are able to separate yourself from it and view it objectively.

For example, if someone is critiquing a painting that you have done, remember that they are not insulting you as an artist they are simply pointing out the flaws of the painting itself.

Understand the Criticism

The next step after you have overcome the urge to take the criticism personally is to understand what the person is trying to say. Perhaps they have a valuable point that you can take into consideration, which will help you do better next time.

If you don’t understand why they are making the criticism, ask them for clarification. Ask them why they think the way they do, how they came up with that opinion, and if they have any suggests of what you could do differently. Whether you disagree with them or not, it’s important to understand first where the criticism is coming from.

Use it To Improve

The final step once you have understood what the other person is trying to say is to try to use the feedback you have received to improve. Keep it in mind next time that you do something and if you can change your behavior to get a better result, do so!

Now you are succeeding even more than before and you have discovered that criticism doesn’t have to hurt, and it can even help you do better at whatever goal you are trying to achieve.