It Is Your Birthright To Live A Beautiful Life!

The beauty about owning our own life and owning our Self is that we can go anywhere that we desire in our life. If we are drawn to something and it fulfills us then we stick with it until it no longer serves a purpose. We have the FREEDOM to chose whatever it is in life that will make us happy and contented. That’s the beauty about life, our life. Whatever you want to do in your life as long as you have the means with which to do it then by all means go ahead and start creating and living your passionate life. No one outside of you can block your abundance and your blessings. Living our own life can be difficult because that would mean that we break away from all the things that is or has the potential to hold us back. It takes strength to walk away from something that is not contributing to us living a beautiful life. But once we get the inner strength to go after our unique life then nothing can hold us back. We will free that caged bird and soar high above the mountain tops.

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When we decide to live our own life we will travel down many paths before we settle on the path that is true and right for us. Have fun with your life. Take up that Portuguese language class that you always wanted to try out. Go take Ballroom Dance lessons and learn to do the Foxtrot, the Cha-Cha or my personal favourite, The Samba. Start feeding your creative self. Travel to a country that you always wanted to visit. Nothing is holding you back unless you are the one holding yourself back. Don’t be afraid to explore life. You only have one life to live, so live it up and have fun doing so. Bring laughter and happiness to your life. There is so much beauty in this world and that beauty should be apart of your life. Now, usually I do not like the word should, but there is a time when you “should” be doing something and a time when you “shouldn’t do something. If you are doing something to please other people and to gain their approval, then you “shouldn’t”, but if you are doing something that brings about your happiness, then by all means you “should” be doing that. Do what makes you happy.

Instead of following the crowd, blaze your own trail and walk your own path. Live the life that you want, not one that was carved out by Society. Create and live your own values and morals. You are not supposed to seek permission from anyone outside of you to live the life that is yours. You are no longer a child. Do not give anyone outside of you that kind of power over your life. Always remember that you are not living to seek approval from anyone outside of you. You are the approval that you seek. Remember that! There is not a set blueprint of life that everyone should follow. That would only make us clones. We have to create our own unique life, a life that makes us blissfully happy, not a life that makes us depressed and jaded with life. I know the two lives and I can tell you the life that makes me blissfully happy is the perfect and only choice for me now and going forward. Anything less and it will not be accepted into my life. There is no reason that we should live life unhappy, depressed and dejected. There is more out there in life and we all can have it only if we begin to believe that we are deserving of such a life. It is our Birthright to live a beautiful life. Anything less is not acceptable.

Live a life that you can later share with your grandkids. Live a life that you can look back on and smile or laugh in giddiness. Create memories now instead of ending up later in life with a lot of coulda, shoulda, woulda’s. Live it up. Be crazy, be wild, be daring, be gutsy. Try something at least once. If you like it, great. If you don’t like it, at least you tried it. I have hiked through the Amazon Jungle in Brazil, ate dinner with the Indians living in the jungle, swam with the Pink Dolphins and more. My next adventure I would like to try Scuba Diving and I have to go Rafting down the Rio Grande River in Portland, Jamaica, W.I at least once in my life. I have climbed the famed Dunns River Falls and I’m constantly seeking out more adventures.

Your life does not have to be linear. Success does not happen in a straight line. There are a lot of trial and errors that is part of the learning and growth process. If something does not work out, try something else. Don’t worry about the money. If it is your passion then the money will follow. If it makes you happy, then it is money well spent. If it doesn’t make you happy, it is still money well spent, because you learned what doesn’t work for you. Not-to-mention, think of all the connections you will have made or the things that you were able to learn about yourself. Things that you may not have known before. Life is always a win/win. Everything that we do brings us some greatness.

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Remember, happiness is not found at the end of the Journey. It is found along the way. So stop and smell the roses. Enjoy the sunset or the sunrise. Go take a walk and enjoy the Divine creation of Life. Open your life to the beauty that is within and is on the outside. Start living a life that you can deliriously love. Where ever it is that your life need to be, it will get there in due time. Until then, enjoy the ride of life. And even after you have reached your goal, still continue to enjoy life. There are many wonders of life still waiting to be explored.

Never give up on your life. If your life was knocked off it’s axis it will take some time to build up back your life and climb back up to the pinnacle of your life. Whatever it is that you want, put it out in The Universe and let The Universe worry about the “how”. The “how” is not our concern. Follow your dreams, follow your bliss. Stop living an ordinary life. It is time you upped the ante on your life and start living an extraordinary life. There is no reason why we shouldn’t live a beautiful life. If you want to know how large you can live your life, then look at the vast expansion of The Universe. There is no end to The Universe, therefore, there is no end to your beautiful and abundant life. Of course, always remember to share your life and your abundance with others. Live your Birthright. Live life on your terms. Move to the beat of your own Drums.

Life Settlement Underwriting – The Flip Side of the Coin

Life settlements are fast growing into a staple of the insurance and financial planning world. Most financial professionals have heard of life settlements, which is the sale of a life insurance policy of a senior (age 65 and over) for a lump sum which is greater than the policy’s cash surrender value but less than its death benefit. Policies which are viable for a life settlement are generally those beyond the contestability period wherein the insured has a life expectancy of between 2 and 15 years. Today life settlements are dominated by institutional funders and pension funds.

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Despite the continued growth in the life settlements market, the number of insurance or financial professionals that have actually completed a life settlement is surprisingly low. This can be attributed mainly to a lack of in-depth knowledge of life settlements on the part of these professionals. Considering that life settlements are a relatively new option for policy owners, many financial professionals, although having heard of life settlements, have still not had the opportunity to delve into the subject on a deeper level.

Many policy holders come to a juncture wherein they continue to pay life insurance premiums on an unwanted policy in hopes of a gain at maturation, or to recoup some of the investment by trading the policy for its cash surrender value. Corporate policyholders often face additional dilemmas when dealing with departing executives with key-man or split-dollar policies, or insurance purchased as part of a buy-sell agreement.

With a life settlement, the policyholder realizes an amount much greater than the cash surrender value in exchange for the policy’s ownership. Term life insurance policies are also applicable when converted into permanent insurance. Life settlement transactions involving key-man or buy-sell policies can provide businesses with increased cash flow to solve immediate financial problems, while transactions concerning split-dollar policies typically involve retirement planning and charitable giving issues.

In short, life settlements offer policyholders of all kinds an array of options previously unavailable to them.

In a recent advisor survey, nearly half of the respondents had clients who had surrendered a life insurance policy, many of whom might have qualified for a life settlement transaction and subsequent lump sum cash payment.

In this article I will discuss in depth the underwriting process related to life settlements, which is of paramount importance in the process, just as it is in life insurance itself, although there is a great deal of difference in the process for each respectively.

Settlement amounts are determined by a multitude of factors that arrive at a Net Present Value, which is the present value of future benefits from the death benefit minus the present value of future payments associated with sustaining the policy until maturation. These expenses include premium payments, cost of capital and administrative costs. This calculation enables the purchaser to factor in the desired profit from the investment and propose an offer to the seller of the policy. Due to the fact that the investor will be sustaining the policy premiums until maturation, the life expectancy of the insured becomes critical in assessing the value or sale price of the policy. If the assessment of an insured’s life expectancy is too short, the purchaser will have paid too much and risks a financial loss. By contrast, should the assessment of an insured’s life expectancy be longer than his or her actual life span, the offer to the seller would have been less than it could have been, thus resulting in an undervalued sale for the policy owner. Institutional investors in life settlements generally obtain life expectancy reports from two or more independent LE (life expectancy) providers. Many of the larger institutions investing in life settlements have proprietary underwriting personnel on staff. LE reports can vary significantly based on interpretations, medical data on the insured, and/or the actuarial tables used.

DIFFERENCES IN UNDERWRITING METHODOLOGY – Companies which provide LE reports use actuarial and medical experts who apply probability theory, actuarial methodology and medical analysis in calculating the probable mortality of an insured. Many LE providers employ the services of experienced life insurance underwriters who work in tandem with the actuarial and medical experts. There are a number of companies which provide LE reports. Among those most commonly accepted by institutional investors are: AVS, Fasano, 21st Services, ISC Services and EMSI. These companies specialize in underwriting the senior segment (insureds above the age of 65) and have developed specified methods, underwriting manuals, and mortality tables. The insurance industry customarily employs Reinsurance underwriting manuals as the basis of its ratings for insurability. However, Reinsurance manuals are gauged primarily for insurance applicants up to the age of 65 with insurable impairments up to 500%. These standards reflect the traditional demographic for life insurance. Conversely, life settlement underwriting is geared toward those above the age of 65 and can have impairment ratings much higher than 500%.

In order to cater to this market segment, adaptations were made to these underwriting manuals based on extensive research of current senior mortality data and scrutinized against recent medical advances and the treatment of diseases or disorders often associated with the elderly. In addition to this, companies that provide LE reports also draw from, and factor in, proprietary data accumulated from previous assessments. Generally, a traditional debit and credit methodology is used by the underwriter in determining the overall rating of an insured, resulting in either standard or substandard. Of course, this is an approximation due to the fact that few impairments cause a uniform percentage increase in mortality. Results using the standard debit and credit method produce reasonable and quantifiable results; however, for conditions such as many forms of cancer, the debit and credit methodology does not generate reliable results. This is mainly due to the fact that the impaired mortality curve is significantly different than the standard curve used in the absence of these impairments. Companies that provide LE reports employ different approaches in order to calculate these impairments. Some utilize the debit and credit approach, others apply extra deaths for a limited time span, and still others will use a combination of the two and apply them to the actuarial calculations. For a policy with a high impairment and a short life expectancy, clinical judgment may supersede the actuarial calculation. Life expectancy calculations utilize the underwriting assessment in tandem with the appropriate mortality table; however each life expectancy provider uses its own proprietary mortality tables based on sex, smoker or non-smoker status, impairment and preferred class. The general understanding is that most life expectancy providers use the 2001 VBT (Valuation Basic Table), but it seems that most use a heavily modified version of the 2001 VBT or their own table altogether.

Individuals with medical conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, congestive heart failure and other serious ailments would most likely be declined for a life insurance policy. However, for the purposes of a life settlement, it is possible to estimate the life expectancy of an insured with these medical ailments. For insureds with serious medical conditions, life expectancy assessments often take into account factors that contribute to healthy aging, such as regular physical exercise, social activities, the mental attitude of the insured, and his or her commitment to living a healthy lifestyle. Access to care givers and a support network, are also variables that are taken into consideration. All of these factors can sometimes add a level of complexity to the underwriting process that will affect the final mortality calculation

DIFFERENCES IN UNDERWRITING REQUIREMENTS – When submitting an application for a large life insurance policy on an older individual the application needs to be accompanied by medical data as outlined in the insurance company’s requirement guidelines. This medical data would usually include a physical examination, blood profile, EKG and an Attending Physician’s Statement (APS). Many insurance companies also require functional assessments of an applicant, which include ability to carry out the activities of daily living. Often, financial underwriting is a part of this assessment of insurability. By contrast, life settlement underwriting is based on existing medical data and rarely requires any medical examination, EKGs or blood work. A life settlement application should be accompanied by HIPAA and release of medical information forms. The application is then followed by Attending Physician’s Statements ordered from selected physicians by the company transacting the life settlement, usually a broker or provider. This information is then forwarded to the company or companies providing life expectancy reports on the insured. After review of the attending physician’s statements and medical history, a life expectancy provider will provide a detailed LE report on the insured. Based on the information in the LE report and the profile of the life insurance policy, an institutional investor will prepare an offer on the policy. Occasionally, the company or companies providing the life expectancy report will indicate that additional information from an attending physician may give them further insight into the insured’s life expectancy, which would possibly affect the offers from institutional investors. In such a case, the life settlement broker or provider will order additional information from the appropriate physician(s). In cases where the insured has not seen a physician in two or three years, which would seemingly be a good thing, indicating that the individual is not suffering from any chronic ailments, the company providing a life expectancy report is afforded little current data on which it can effectively base a life expectancy assessment.

The principal difference in underwriting for life insurance and life settlements is that in traditional underwriting as low a mortality rating as possible on any medically impaired risk would be preferred in order to obtain a lower cost of insurance. By contrast, for life settlements a higher impairment rating would result in a shorter life expectancy. Thus, the insured would receive a larger settlement for his or her policy.

SELLER BEWARE – With life settlements growing at an astounding rate, there are more and more companies seeking to enter this market. Many states have some form of regulation regarding life settlements, while others are unregulated or pending regulation. Some life settlements, such as those on a variable policy, are considered securities transactions. With all of these different regulatory variables, it is important for insurance and financial professionals to make sure they work with a reputable company to facilitate a life settlement. When considering which life settlement company to work with, most of us look for the obvious: to wit, a company that will facilitate and expedite the policy with professionalism as well as acquire competitive bids from a number of institutional investors. However, perhaps of even greater importance to the professional, is a company that has an infrastructure that enables the record keeping necessary to fulfill regulatory standards, as well as a compliance department that will keep abreast with changing regulatory requirements and reporting. Most importantly, the company should hold the applicable licenses in the states were it conducts life settlement transactions.

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Not surprisingly, these various attributes and characteristics tend to coincide with each other. A reputable company will hold all of the applicable licenses needed, or will refrain from activities in states in which it is not licensed. If they have the proper reporting and record keeping capabilities, this is usually overseen by a compliance department that is also responsible for licensing and regulation. Organizations such as these generally have built an infrastructure that has the manpower to process settlements with fastidious precision. Processing large numbers of settlements according to a high standard will give a company a preferred status and leverage with institutional investors, which might even result in higher offers on a given policy.

Make Peace With the Life You Did Not Get

Make peace with the life you did not get so that you can make way for the life that can be yours to find its way to you. Recently, I was watching “Devious Maids”, one of guilty pleasures on Lifetime TV. One of the characters, Zoila, is a maid and she feels that all she can be is a maid because she was unable to accept a scholarship and go to college. She does not want her daughter to be a maid and rightly so. However, the daughter wants to pay her own way to college rather than depend on her mother and father. Her mother, Zoila, is adamant and does everything to make sure her daughter doesn’t make the same mistake she did, even trying to get her fired from her maid job. Now, the moral here is not that Zoila wanted better for her daughter. It is the fact that Zoila never got over not being able to go to College and pursue her dreams, so she accepted a life of “demeaning servitude” because she thought that was all she was good for.

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How many of us are still upset about a life we did not get? I will be the first one to raise my hand. I never got to go to a prestigious University. To this day, I still regret not being accepted to Fordham University, which was my first choice College. There are days when I wonder what my life would have been like if I had gone to Fordham University. I do know for a fact that my life would have definitely been different. I had loved everything about Fordham U. Its prestige, it’s alumni program, their special programs for High School students, programs that I took part in. I even won an Internship of the Year Award. I had interned at some of the best Companies. My life was on the right path. I was not accepted for reasons that were out of my control, although I had the grades. Instead, I was accepted to another University and while that was a private University, it was still not Fordham. My plan was to spend two years at that University, get better grades and then transfer to Fordham University. Yes, I was that obsessed with attending Fordham University. However, life did not work out that way. I made do with the University I was accepted to.

It was not until I was watching that episode of Devious Maid that it hit me. I never made peace with not being able to attend Fordham University or even Fordham Law. Recent circumstances made me realize how much resentment I had for not being able to attend a prestigious University. School and education were my identity. Since I never got to go to Fordham U. for my Bachelor’s degree, I decided that I would apply to Fordham Law and combine the prestige of becoming a Lawyer with the prestige of attending Fordham Law, a Tier 1 Law School. I had to get my J.D then my LL.M (Masters of Law) and them my LL.D (Doctorate of Law). But that did not happen. Well, that part was on me.

I realized that I did not want to go to Law School. Oh the horror of horrors. My family was appalled. They thought I had no direction and I was wasting my life. I still have an Aunt, who to this day still asks if I will reconsider my decision to not go to Law School. I had to restore my family’s honour and do something prestigious with my life. It would help if I went to Oxford or Cambridge University. I have even found myself encouraging my nephew to use his grades to apply to Oxford or Cambridge. I want him to make something of his life and get the opportunities I never got. I hope he forgives me for putting that on him.

Even though the decision to not go to Law School was mine, I still spent the next ten years of my life resenting my life. I just know that if I gotten certain opportunities, I would have had a better life. Yes that was how deeply obsessed and meshed my identity was with the “right schools”, the “meeting the right people”, marrying “up” and living the “right affluent lifestyle”. To add fuel to the fire, I sacrificed my life for “family” and that did not turn out well. It actually blew up in my face. More pain and resentment.

I have spent many years resenting my life and where it has ended up. As a result, things came into my life to help me feel worse about that life. Yes, I have done many things that brought me happiness, but that was fleeting for me. Throughout all that, I learned something very important. No matter how much we may love our surface life, it will be fleeting if beneath all that we are filled with resentment for the life we felt we had missed out on.

One of the things that I have learned about the life that we live is that if we are not okay with where our life is it is easy for others to make us feel bad about our station in life. However, if we are okay with who we and where we are then no one can make you feel ashamed, guilty for what you did not achieve, by their standards. That is why we need to have our own standards for our life and make peace with who, what and where we are in life. If we do not like where we are then we can take steps to change course. We do not need approval from anyone outside of us to do things differently for our lives.

If you were to seriously take a look at who you are now and then look back at the life you thought you missed out on, ask yourself, are those things important to me today? Do I really want that life? Do I still think like that 22yr old? Chances are that life is no longer important to you. There is far more to life than having the right contacts, the right network and the right life. Those things were no longer important to me, but I never made peace with all that. I just went about life continuously burying my hopes and dreams and finding other things to make me happy.

Deep down I was not happy at all. I felt that I had no ambition because I do not want to pursue Law or any other higher degree. However, that was just the criticisms of others that was creeping into my ears and damaging my brain. I started criticizing and putting myself down in the same manner. I felt as if I did not turn out into anything good. I began to believe the criticisms that I had no direction even though the previous direction towards Law School, Masters, and Doctorate was not making me happy.

There is far more to life. Our individual happiness is far more important than getting into the right schools and making the right connections. Do the things you love. If people think you have no direction then that is not your issue. We all deserve to live a life that makes us happy, contented and filled with love and joy. Not some life that creates misery for us. If wanting to be happy, filled with passion, love and joy causes me to lack direction then so be it. At least I am creating my happiness and my passionate life. I do not need to live my life in a way to gain approval from others.

I have learned that I am my own person and I decide where I want to go and if others are not happy with that well, I am not a child and I moved out of my parents home 18years ago, so I do not need permission to live my own life. No one should try to force someone else to live in misery just so they can be seen as having direction. Matter-of-fact, coming from a very strict and structured childhood, I am so happy that I can throw caution to the wind and live my life in freedom WITHOUT direction. I love where my life takes me, sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised, while other times I chose that direction. I love living life from the seat of my pants or my shorts or from the deck of a long pier with my legs hanging off in the beautiful Atlantic Ocean or the clear blue-green Caribbean Sea.

For a long time I was unable to laugh and enjoy myself. I was punishing myself for not having direction and feeling guilty too. That only caused me to be more upset because I had believed that other people were right and I was wrong where my life was concerned. Do not make that same mistake that I did. How you live your life for you is not wrong, as long as it is making you happy. Do not sacrifice your happiness so that you can give others the impression that you have direction. You are not placed here on earth to please others at your expense.

Dance to the rhythm of your own life and move to the beat of your own drums. Live life passionately and exuberantly. Life is way too precious to spend it living in a shell. No one should live life not getting the chance to live out their dreams. That is why as much as I do regret not attending a prestigious Law University; I would not in a million years trade my life for that life.

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It is important that we make peace with the life we did not get so that we can make way for the life that can be ours to find its way to us. There really is a purpose for everything that we did not get and for what we did get. Life has a way of surprising us in a wonderful way. Life is always a win/win. School was one path that I walked and when it no longer served a purpose in my life, another path was cleared for me to walk. The life we think we missed out on was not really the life for us. Something bigger and better was and is in store for us.

Every path that I have walked has brought about numerous blessings. I may not have gone to Law School, but I have gained other wonderful opportunities in my life. I can bet you any money that if I had become Partner in a Law Firm and I would have, I would never have been able to go to Brazil and the Amazon anytime that I wanted to. Anything that I do has to accommodate me going to Brazil at the drop of a hat otherwise, it’s a no-can-do. I would not have been able to live my life freely the way I have been doing the past several years.

Allow Yourself to Live The Life That Is Best For You!

Each and every one of us is responsible for our own lives. That means we are responsible for our own growth and development. Adults are not children, so we need to give them the space to grow themselves and to develop themselves personally. We can offer suggestions, we can provide a listening ear and a huge hug when they need it, but in the final analysis, that person has the final say on their life and where it’s going. We need to respect adults for the mature, capable adults they are supposed to be and not micro-manage their life. That does not make for a good boss, nor does it make for a healthy relationship with others.

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Instead of trying to control others or even trying to control ourselves, we need to manage our individual lives. That means you should not hold up your individual growth and progress by waiting on others to make a decision that may or may not affect your life. You may be waiting on others to want a better life for themselves and because you are growing and moving forward you do not want to leave them behind. However, if someone doesn’t want something for themselves there is no way you can force them to want it.

I will even go as far as to say that what you may want for someone may not be what they want for themselves or they are not ready as yet to make changes in and for their life. While it is commendable to want more for others, you cannot keep your life stuck waiting for others. It is important that you do not stop your growth for anyone, therefore, it is imperative that you keep your life moving forward while focusing on your growth.

Another point to take heed of is that people can and will string you along for as long as they can before you even realize what is happening. They will give you a sad story to draw you in or they will say the right words that they know will pull at your heart strings and you find yourself understanding them and waiting on them. You are now at their mercy. They can pull you and twist you up in any way till Sunday. Do not blame yourself once you realize or become aware of what is happening. Forgive yourself for getting caught up in the madness and now start to take steps to get your life going again preferably without those individuals.

Once you become aware of what is going on, you will no longer allow your life to remain stuck. People can make promises all they want, however, it is in the doing that you should put faith in, especially when it comes to your personal life. Do not tolerate nor allow anyone to run amuck in your personal life and leave it in disarray. If you find that your personal life is in disarray as a result of who and what was in it, then it’s time to do some internal house-cleaning.

It is now time to take back your life, take back control over the ship of your life, start playing your life full out and start living the life that is best for you. Do not make the mistake of stopping your life because you feel that you should wait on others. No, keep moving your life forward and if others want to be a part of your life then they will catch a ride on your ship. If they do not want to be a part of your life, then still keep your life moving.

You have the power to stop your life-ship if you so desire, however, do not allow others to slow you down. It is one thing to stop or pause voluntarily, it is another thing when you unwittingly allow criticisms and other negative behaviour to seep into your mind and cause you to stop your own progress. You are now so beaten down that you barely have the strength to get up in the mornings.

ENOUGH! Your life is not meant to be mediocre nor is it meant to be wasted being stuck in the same existence with no change. No, you are meant to live an EXTRAORDINARY life. So don’t be afraid that by you moving forward you are leaving people behind. If they are for you they will be right beside you as you move forward. If they are not for you, then you will meet other people as you move your life forward.

In order to be able to move your life forward, focusing on nourishing just your heart and soul is not enough. Your mind needs to be built up in order to become rock-solid. Having a weakened or a vulnerable mind will leave you open to external influences. It is then that the negative and harsh criticisms of others will be able to permeate your mind and twist you up from the inside out. That is what is called psychological abuse.

Once someone has control over your mind, you no longer own your life. They can twist you up in any way and in any direction that mirrors their state of mind. That is why we need to build up our mind so that nothing negative and mind-twisting can penetrate. Own your own mind, have mastery over your own mind and you will be able to direct and lead your life towards your dreams, passions and goals. Having a weakened mind doesn’t mean you are stupid or mentally unbalanced. Far from it. Immense pain can weaken your mental state.

Experiencing serious life events and having to go it alone can cause your mind to take a massive hit. Do not feel guilty if your mind was in a weakened state. You are human and there are times when life is going to hit you hard to the point where life knocks you down clean of your axis. Use this time to rebuild your foundation. Life hit you hard for a reason. The life you were living, you have outgrown it and life needed to get your attention, to say, “Hey, you no longer belong over there. It is time to go down a different path.”

You are getting an opportunity few people get or even recognize that they are getting. You are being given a chance to start your life over from scratch. A life that you can now build according to your specifications and not those of your family, religion, culture, media or society. You can build a life that has all the support your life needs in your internal life and in your external life. Both parts of your life need to be in full alignment and giving you balanced support.

That is why you should never look so longingly at what was or what wasn’t that you miss the opportunity to appreciate what is coming into your life. If you need to take the time to heal wounds of the past, then do so. Your life need you to be front and center in your present so that you can look boldly to the future. Although your past may have had great times and wonderful experiences, there was also a lot of misery, pain, loss and disappointments. Why would you want to go back to something that caused you pain, misery and torment? You can’t change what happened, but you can heal so that you can create a new and better today. Remember, yesterday is gone, tomorrow isn’t here as yet, but you do have today and today should be where you are living your best life.

Refrain from engaging in should-a, would-a, could-a. That is gone. Refrain from engaging in, tomorrow it will be better, next year will be better, this is the life I want to have someday. It hasn’t come yet. However, today you can live your best life, today you can attempt to do one thing that you are passionate about, today you can tell someone that you love them, that you care about them. Today is what you have. Embrace it, rejoice in it and live it to the best of your ability.

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As you take your new life one day at a time, bit by bit you will start falling in love with yourself. Soon and very soon, you will be living your life fully and completely in love with the new you. It is that love that you have for yourself that will catapult you to live in your greatness and living the best life possible.

There are no limits as to how great and extraordinary you can live your life. Do not allow the past nor the future to continuously rob you of your joy. You no longer have to just exist in life trying to survive day by day. Now you can thrive in your life enjoying your passions day by day. It is your life, so live it up, live it freely and live it passionately.

Five Top Tips for Living Your BEST Life

Enlightened wisdom believes that the question is more important than the answer. In other words, without the correct question being asked, you cannot ever get the correct answer. So asking the RIGHT questions to yourself is the most important thing you can do for your own personal growth…

We are born, and we will all die one day – this is certain. In the middle of our birth and death is this thing called Life. We don’t have a choice about the fact that we will die one day, but we do have a choice about how we will live the days of our life. So here’s an important question to ask yourself – What is life for? What is my life about? What is the purpose of my journey here?

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It’s important to ask this question because the answer will decide what your experience of life becomes. Is life just for growing up, getting education, meeting your partner, having children, creating a big successful career, company, or family, having experiences, friendships, relationships, and then one day leaving it all behind when you pass away?

It is true that along the way you may do all of this, but what is the big picture of life all about? This is an important and powerful question to ask.

I asked myself this question when I was just a teenager, and then went in search of the answer. I looked both within, into my heart, and also searched externally, by meeting and learning from enlightened teachers. Eventually after a lot of search, practice and experience, I found my answer.

While each one of us has different goals to fulfil and life to love, there is a common thread in our existence too. We are all here, experiencing life, to bring out the best possible potential from within us and share it with others. We are all here to be the best we can be, as individual human beings.

This is the answer to the big question that will clarify and set the path of your life – You are here to be the best that you can be, in your relationships, in your work, in your friendships, in your efforts and in your life.

To help you live your best life let’s begin by understanding that there are essentially just three ways to live life.

    1. You can live your lowest life: regardless of circumstances, this is a life where you don’t follow your dreams; you keep chasing STUFF. You are the least important person in your life; everyone else is more important than you: your partner, your kids, your work, and your in-laws – all of this is more important that being authentic to yourself.

 

    1. You can live a mediocre life. Regardless of circumstances, this is a life where sometimes you get your way, but it is only after other’s get theirs too. So there is always a compromise. And you’re supposed to feel satisfied with just what you’ve got, been given, or received in life. You look around and see that everyone else is doing the same thing – they are not living the lives they want to live, instead they are always compromising to keep moving ahead. Mr Jones gets up, goes to work, comes home, spends time with the family, then goes to bed. The next day, he gets up and does the same thing all over again. This is the conditioned life, albeit stable, secure and comfortable. Living this life of no sense of life purpose every day is dangerous as it may bring you to a mindset that believes this is how life is supposed to be. Once this mindset has taken root you are condemned to a life time of mediocrity and non significance.

 

  1. You can live your best life! This is a life where you know the reason you are alive. You have a clear sense of what you want to do with your life. You are living authentically, not to fulfil others expectations of you. You are full of purpose, passion and a sense of completeness. You are engaged in work that you love, you share life with someone you love. When you wake up you know you’re living your highest potential.

If you can find the courage inside you to decide to live your highest life, here are 5 tips to help you to do so.

Living your best, highest, biggest, brightest life is easy when you follow the 5 tips. The first tip is the most difficult, but let us start here because if you can do this, then all the others that follow are easy.

Tip 1 for living your BEST life – Accept Responsibility for your life and everything in it.

Understand that you can only change what you have responsibility for. If you are not responsible for it, then you do not have the power to change it either.

So accept responsibility for yourself and creating your BEST life.

Make a commitment that you will live your best life. Accept that you have to make it happen – not your partner, your husband, your family. It’s not your mother’s responsibility! Others can help and guide you, but it is your job to walk this path. This also means that you STOP WAITING!

Stop depending or waiting for others to make your life better! Instead you do it yourself. This step is most important but difficult too. If you don’t participate in making your own life better, well then nothing can become better. Make a silent mental commitment to yourself “I will do/change whatever I have to… I am responsible for living my best life.” Then think of what actions you can take to make your life better today. Not tomorrow, not next month. Identify some small steps/things that will improve your life experience today, and then take action on them.

Conscious change starts inside you first. This is a truth that can never change. Wasn’t this article a thought in my mind before it became real? Similarly, your relationship, your home, your children, your job, your current life – all these were thoughts first before they became a reality. When you understand this, you can also understand how to change your life for the better.

Tip 2 for living your BEST life – Invest in yourself by learning meditation

Every day that we are alive, we invest. We invest our time, energy and effort in our children, our homes, business, our travels, our stocks & shares… but along the way we forget to invest in ourselves.

You are at the centre of your whole life and everything you have created in it. So make sure the core is always well taken care of. Think about it – before your children came into your life, were you not there first? Who came before your home? You! Before the relationship? You!

You are the reason why everything else is in your life. Sometimes we lose sight of this powerful truth…

So make sure you invest in yourself by training your mind to be happy and joyful. Meditation is the ancient science of mind training and it shows you the way to create your own happiness and joy. It also gives you a mental clarity that allows you to see the big picture of your life and empowers you to take steps to make it what you wish.

So invest in training your mind through meditation. You cannot live your best life without a mind that supports you to be happy and joyful. Find a good teacher and then spend the time, energy, effort and money you need to learn the wisdom that will guide you to your BEST life.

Invest also in your health, and good experiences. Exercise, travel, enjoy good food and drink, enjoy nature, hang out with positive people and most important of all – remember to see the good in your life on a daily basis, not just once in a while.

Tip 3 for living your BEST life – Discover and follow your passions.

Ask yourself this simple question – How much passion do you feel in life? Do you feel alive and on fire as you start your day? Are you excited to be at work? Do you feel that you are doing what you were born to do?

To live your BEST life, you must discover and release your passion – this is extremely beneficial for you and everyone around you too. You must look within yourself to find meaning and work that will light a fire inside you.

It takes courage to live your BEST life because it means finding and following what you love to do. Be aware that you will always be better at doing what you love to do than doing what you don’t love. Now if you think that you don’t have a passion/dream in the first place, I want to remind you that you DO! It’s just been so long since you thought about your passion that you think it is no longer there. So spend some time looking within and discover the fire that is waiting to be lit inside you.

Tip 4 for living your BEST life – Release negativity.

Release and let go of all negativity, regardless of why it’s there. There are always good reasons of why we feel anger, hatred, grudges or jealously towards others, but no reason is good enough to keep on hurting yourself for. All negativity hurts you more that those around you.

Imagine that you are holding onto some heavy weights in your hands. And now you try to raise your hands higher to flap your wings to fly. You will find that the weight is really heavy and it holds you down. Blame, complaining, anger, grudges… these are all the weights that hold you down.

Interestingly, the more positive you become the more you see good opportunities – reasons to say thank you and be grateful. And the universe supports you more too.

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Be aware that if 5 years ago someone hurt you, but you keep thinking about how that person hurt you by what he said or did… then he hurt you but once, but since then you’ve hurt yourself a 100 times thinking back about it.

If you get on a flight to go somewhere there is always a limit on the baggage you are allowed to carry. 20kg in economy, or 30kg in business class, or 40kg in first class… but always there is a limit. If you take more that that you are penalised! Similarly, in life if you carry too much baggage you are penalised and you won’t enjoy the beauty that life has to offer.

So, let go of the negative experiences of your life. Accept that it is you who has to let go of the pain, not the people who caused you the pain (if you wait for them, you are playing out the role of a victim). The enlightened teachers say it is never the snake bite that kills you; it is the poison left behind that kills you.

Learn your lessons for the hard knocks of life, and move on a better person. Don’t hold on to the past, because the past is not holding on to you!

Tip 5 for living your BEST life – Love yourself every day.

Treat yourself with love every day, not just on special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries. Don’t wait for others to make you feel good either! Take the responsibility to make yourself feel good no matter what happens! Again, meditation training will be invaluable for this.

So everyday of your life, remember that the most important person in your life is YOU!

Enjoy small pleasures on a daily basis – a cup of coffee, a walk in the park, yoga class, a good book to read, a chat with a friend, a massage, enjoying the beautiful trees around you… anything to show yourself some love very day.

If life was just one thing, then all people would be having the same experience of life. Yet some are happy, others unhappy. Some are full of gratitude, and others are full of complains. The truth is that life is nothing without you. There would be no experience/ definition/ quality of life without you.

Outgrowing Our Old Life

As we grow we are going to outgrow people, situations, behaviours, thoughts and beliefs. Not everyone will make it over into our new life. It doesn’t mean anything was wrong with them it just means that their part in your life story is over. We are going to outgrow our old life. We are going to meet new people who now play a part in our new story. You might take a lot of flak for moving forward, however, it is important that you do what is best for your life and for your growth. All of us are individually responsible for the growth of ourselves and our life. We need to become leaders of our own life. That means we are responsible for the things, situations, people that comes into our life. We are going to outgrow certain kind of conversations, thoughts that no longer serve us and behaviours that do not bring about growth in our lives.

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Your destiny is never tied to anyone who is walking away from your life neither does anyone’s destiny is tied up to you walking away from them. No matter who is doing the walking away we need to respect people’s decision to move on with their life. If we realize that there is too much drama going on in our life and it is keeping us stuck then it is important that we remove ourselves from whatever is causing that drama even if it is us. We cannot continue keeping ourselves anywhere that does not bring about growth and development.

There comes a time when we need to take a deeper look at our life and see if where we are is where we truly desire to be. It is also going to take deep strength and commitment to growing for us to walk away from a life that is only causing us to break down more and more. That is not healthy. Each and every individual deserves to live a life that is abundant and prosperous. We can’t live that life if there is chaos in our life. We are blocking our ability to tune into our abundance if our life is not emotionally healthy and free. Everything that comes into our life serves a purpose, a reason and a healing. However, not everything that comes into our life is meant to be in our life forever. Problems occur when we try to force others to be in our lives. If someone says they need space, then honour that request. If someone is walking away from you let them go. They are not your prisoner.

We are born free. Free to be where we desire to be, free to make decisions about where our life is going and free to live a life of happiness, stress-free and safe. No one should threaten another person’s life just because they are walking away from them. That is not a healthy way to live. Life goes on and we need to let our lives flow. We also have a responsibility to ourselves to not let anyone hold us hostage in any way. That means we should never give anyone the power to hold us hostage mentally, emotionally, psychologically and physically.

I was born into abuse. So I grew up knowing a life filled with violence, sickness, anger, unhappiness, manipulation, mind control and all the others disgusting things that comes with abuse. However, in the midst of all that darkness, I did experience love, light, happiness, freedom. There were angels in the form of people during my teenage years that showed interest in me, cared about me, gave me strength and they instilled values in me. Those few years were a godsend. That was what I held unto during the darkest hours of my life. It is why at age 19 I could gather the strength to move out of the darkness in order to save my life. I vowed that I will never let my life be subjected to that kind of darkness. I needed more for my life and to get more for my life I had to make some hard decisions knowing full well that I would not get any support for my decisions. However, it was when I made the decision to move out that so many more angels were sent to save my life. Many of those angels are no longer in my life because their part in my story has ended, but their kind deeds have kept me going and it has influenced me to be someone else’s angel. That is how I strive to live my life every day.

While I will let my life guide me to where I need to go, I will not life in general just carry me along. Every day I take inventory of myself and of my life and where I am in my life. If I don’t like it then I take steps to take my life in a different direction. I once heard something that I now call a parable: “You will walk down a road and there is a hole that you fall into. You climb out of it and continue your Journey. The next day you walk down the same road, but this time you know about the hole, so you walk around it. The third time you simply walk down a different road”. It is the same thing with our lives. We need to be actively paying attention to our lives so that we can see if there is something that we will fall into. If we don’t see it in time then when we find ourselves in the middle of such a situation then we remove ourselves from that situation and then make the decision to walk a different Path.

We can’t be in the same thing over and over again without stopping to take stock of our lives and where it is going. It doesn’t matter if you feel that someone has betrayed you, stabbed you in the back, in the front or whatever it is? Take care of your mental, emotional and spiritual health by removing your life away from that person. That person may not feel that they did anything wrong. Don’t get caught up trying to get them to acknowledge their behaviour and trying to force them to apologize. You cannot live another person’s life for them. You have got to live and pay attention to your own life. It also means that that person does not belong in your life. Release them so they can continue living their life Journey and free up yourself so that you can live your life based on your values and morals. This has nothing to do with whose values and morals are wrong or right. Your values and morals are unique to you and if they work for you then continue on your way. If other people’s values and morals clash with yours then those are not the people to have in your life. Don’t argue with people about who is right and who is wrong. Live your life in the way that brings you happiness, freedom and joy.

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It was Albert Einstein who said, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” We can’t enact changes in our life if we have the same thinking that brought us into the unhealthy situation. We need to change our thinking and inevitably the people in our life will change also. Each individual has the right to travel their own path and it doesn’t make one person better than the other. We are all human beings so we are all equal. We all get the same amount of time in a day, in a week and in a year, however, it is how we use that time that is given to us that is important. Wanting a better life is actually praiseworthy. Always seeking ways to improve yourself is praiseworthy. Seeking ways to help others is praiseworthy. So don’t allow anyone to negate your life’s purpose and goals. The world needs more Leaders. It needs people who are willing to go the extra distance to help in any way they can. So don’t allow anything to hold you back. While you can use your past to strengthen and fortify you and use it motivate you, your destiny is not tied to your past. Don’t allow your past to prevent you from moving forward. The time is the present and it is for you now to step into your Greatness.

What Is Your Life Purpose, Mission and Passion?

It’s important to answer the question accurately, “What Is Your Life Purpose” because most people get it wrong. You’ll hear a short statement declaring this is my Life Purpose, when in fact all that has been said is a life purpose statement that has been made up. There is a tremendous amount of misunderstanding as to what a Life Purpose is, and therefore mis-information about your precise purpose and reason for being here and the meaning of your life. This has lead to much confusion. I see it all the time in my clients who have done Life Purpose work, yet are none the wiser as to what their actual purpose is. If you don’t understand what Life Purpose actually is, in other words, if you don’t fully comprehend the definition of the term and all it entails, then you don’t know what you are looking for. You have to know what you are looking for to find it; or to know you have found the right thing when you find something you think might be your purpose. In this article I wanted to Clarify the term Life Purpose to get clarity on the question, “What Is Your Life Purpose.”

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Let’s start with the Soul – What Is The Soul?

Some people use Spirit and Soul as interchangeable ideas. A dictionary definition of Soul is, “The animating and vital principle in humans, credited with the faculties of thought, action, and emotion and often conceived as an immaterial entity.” So that life force within us comes from Spirit, which is different from the Soul. The Soul is the animation in us of that life force. The Soul then is sort of an intermediary between our conscious human being Self and Spirit. The Soul is our individuality and contains our individual thoughts, feelings, blueprint for life and life’s experiences – our Mission Blueprint. Having all this data available to it, the Soul is the aspect of our Greater Self that knows what would be the best way for us to express ourselves and live a life of contentment, fulfilment, value and meaning. In other words, how to get the most out of this live we are living.

What Is Our Soul’s Purpose?

Our Soul has a purpose that is different from our actual Life Purpose and Higher Purpose. Many people use the term Soul Purpose when they really mean Life Purpose. The Soul’s Purpose is the same regardless of the individual. That is the purpose of expansion. Your Soul expresses itself by animating your body, working through you for the purpose of expanding – expanding its awareness, consciousness, energy, experiences, understanding, knowledge and abilities.

What Is Your Life Purpose?

Your Life Purpose on the other hand is more precise and focused. Life Purpose is different from Soul Purpose because it carries a greater differentiation and greater meaning in life. While we all have the same Soul purpose – expansion, how you expand, or the best way for you to expand as an individual, is what your Soul has chosen as your Life Purpose. Your Life Purpose is about your life here on earth, not out there in the spiritual realms. Does that make sense? Your Life Purpose is simply the big picture or umbrella, if you will, of your entire reason for being here. Your purpose is made up of a number of elements including:

1. Your Soul’s Primary Expression Modalities, these are the ways your Soul has determined is best for you to express yourself throughout your life. The way our Soul seeks to expand is through a variety of experiences, plus a number of key expression modalities. It’s super important to find your Soul’s Primary Expression Modalities because these are the clues to where your greatest happiness and success in life can be found. These expression modalities are the biggest clues to how you can monetize your purpose as well. They also give you clues as to what industry or area in your working world you’d most thrive and succeed in.

2. Your life’s challenges and lessons. At the Soul blueprint level, each of us has coded into our life path plan there, a set of primary lessons and challenges we’ve agreed to go through in order to experience the greatest expansion in our lives. These challenges and lessons are also portals to access our higher abilities or super powers if you prefer. These are the abilities we all have within us to do extraordinary things – like play piano beautifully, or become a contortionist, develop accurate psychic abilities, heal people by looking at them, predict the future, and the like. When we rise up to our challenges and life lessons, we are called upon to dig deep within ourselves to find our courage and expand our capabilities. We have the choice to step up, or stay stuck and struggle in life, whenever a challenge comes up on our path.

3. Your “Drivers”. These are things that motivate you and drive you from your Soul level, not at the level of your ego or subconscious mind where the drivers are limiting beliefs. These drivers, at the Soul level are found in your passion for certain activities, ideas or causes. Here’s where you connect with finding meaning and purpose in life.

4. Your “Gift” that makes a difference in the big scheme of things. This is the gift you have that is innate. You naturally do this very thing and you’re gifted at it. It’s important to find and know what this gift is because here we get even more clues as to ‘how’ you are going to carry out your Life Purpose, and how you can monetize it accurately. You may even have several gifts that all work synergistically to succeed in living a life of purpose. In connecting to your gift, you find your natural confidence also and this is important to connect with. When you connect with your special gift, you are also connecting with a natural wellspring of confidence. You may still experience self doubt and hesitation, we all do, but you’ll have the building blocks or foundations to strengthen your self confidence, that you can do the very thing you were born to do, or that you’re thinking you would really love to do.

5. Your Higher Purpose. Within your life purpose blueprint is also potentials of higher expressions of that purpose – Your Higher Purpose. This is where you get to make a bigger difference in your life and experience deeper meaning. Some people come in to this world and step right on into their Higher Purpose as children. Kid President would be one example. Look him up if you haven’t heard of him. Others step into their higher purpose in early adult hood, while others won’t automatically step into that until later on in life. There are some people who won’t ever step into the higher aspects of their reason for being here in this life. If you’re like me, and you didn’t automatically come in to living your Higher Purpose in childhood or early adulthood, your Soul’s call to step up into this higher expression comes to you through one of two experiences, sometimes they dovetail and you could be experiencing both of these:

  1. Intense dissatisfaction for your current life. Whenever you feel dissatisfied with your life – that is a call to step up and expand and find and follow your higher purpose. That’s the purpose of dissatisfaction. It’s there to call you into expansion so you can not only fulfil your Soul’s Purpose but your higher reason for being here.
  2. The other experience is when you are living your Life Purpose, doing what you love and knowing you’re on track, but nothing seems to be going as well as you’d hope and you feel frustrated or dissatisfied about that. That’s also a call to step up to yet an even higher expression of your purpose.

5a. Within both your Higher Purpose is your Personal Mission. Sometimes they are the same and sometimes your Personal Mission gives you greater distinctions as to the how you are to fulfil your Higher Purpose. You know it’s time to step into finding and carrying out your personal mission when you think and say statements like:

  • I feel like I’m supposed to be doing something else, but I don’t know what that is.
  • I know I’m here to do something, but I’m not sure what that is.
  • I wish I could just get on with doing what I’m here to do/supposed to be doing.
  • I want my life to have more meaning.
  • I want to make a difference – make a big difference -make a bigger difference.
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These are all thoughts planted into your mind by your Soul, to stimulate you to go searching for what it is you are here to do. It’s your Higher Purpose that will have you living a life of making a bigger difference. It is your personal mission that will make the biggest difference and guarantee you eventual successful outcomes. Hence your Mission Blueprint – What your life mission is, is your Soul’s Grand Plan for your life. Not just a plan for your life, but the Grand Plan for your life, where you get to life a life of Grandeur. So know you know what Life Purpose actually entails, you’re better equipped to find what your life purpose is? What are the specifics of individual Soul’s Grand Plan for your Life? It is your Soul’s Grand Plan or your Mission Blueprint that reveals the accurate information on your Life Purpose, and so learning how to connect with that Blueprint is your next step.

Live Your Life Boldly and Beautifully

Living our life boldly and beautifully should be our utmost priority. When we live our lives for ourselves, we will have so much more to share with others. Play your life full out and do not hold back. Live your life passionately and unabashedly. Creating that kind of life takes time. You will want to test the waters of things that you are interested in. Some things may last for the long-term while others will only last for the short term. Explore everything that you are interested in. There really is nothing stopping you from living your best life. Enjoy your life.

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It may seem to others that you are all over the place and that you are confused, however, you are being all over the place in your life and you are doing the things that brings your life joy and fulfillment. Don’t worry that you are being all over the place. Your life is exactly where your life needs to be Divinely. When you have a lot going on in your life, things that brings you immeasurable happiness you will never fall into depression, your life will have energy and you will feel happier. Make sure that you give yourself time to rest and rejuvenate your mind and your soul.

See your life as a huge gorgeous mansion with lots of compartments:

Spirituality

Nonprofit Work

Personal Growth & Development

Your Passions /Hobbies

Dancing

Health

Love /Relationships

Family

Education / Career

Friends

Go ahead and fill in the rest of the rooms with other things that are important to you. Now step back and look at the mansion of your life. Now, there are some rooms that may not get all the attention it needs or some of those rooms maybe empty and need to be filled. However, even though those rooms may not be up to par with what you desire, there are still other rooms that are filled to the brim and are overflowing. To others you may look to be all over the place, but in your life, you know that you are participating fully in your life. The more involved you are in your life the more you will avoid sinking into depression, you will start to feel better about yourself and you will begin to realize that you matter and that you have worth. You will start to fall in love with yourself and with your life.

One of the beauties of living your life full out is that later on in your life you can look back and smile about all the crazy things you did. You will laugh at some of the things you did and you will have quite a colourful life you can share with your children and your grandkids. So live up your life, live it boldly, live it colourfully and live it beautifully. It’s the only life you have and it is yours. It is time to stop doing what I use to do.

I use to sit in my house with the four walls closing in on me, getting depressed over certain things, popping pills to keep me up and alive. It came to a point where I became fed up with my life and where it was going. I decided to step up the game of my life and start doing the things that I’m passionate about, the things that brought joy and merriment to my life. I started to feel alive again and I was able bit by bit to bring myself out of the deep, dark depression that I was in. Light started to replace the darkness of my life and I began to love life again. Guess what? Life started to love me right back, but I had to take the first step to revive my inner warrior so that I could begin stepping into the greatness of my life.

Everything that you do in your life will bring you some sort of benefit. That is why it is important to view life as a win/win instead of a win/lose. You are never defeated and you never lose. Every path you travel will bring your life blessings, healing and abundance. There is nothing that says you need to keep traveling a particular path even if it is not fulfilling you just because you do not want to seem as if you never finish anything or that you do not have any direction. If a particular direction no longer works for you, change direction. Never stop changing directions until you find the direction that works for you. It is your life; you are the one that will need to live it, so why not make sure that the life you are living is the one that works for you and one that you love.

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Life is not short; instead, life is far too precious to live it as an unhappy empty shell of yourself. Get up and live, live out loud. Be happy and proud. Be crazy, let your personality shine through. Do not live your life less than 100%. Love your life and life will love you right back. You will find that the moment you start living your life for you, The Universe will respond and things and opportunities will start to align in order to synchronize with your life. Things will start to come into your life almost effortlessly. Doors that were once closed will begin to open up to you as if by magic. You will still experience not so good things, but when you are living your life full out you will be able to move easily through those things.

Always remember, you own your life, so you are not suppose to wait on the approval of others as to how you should live your life. Live your life, love your life, craziness and all. It is that craziness that makes you You, and makes you lovable to those who want to be in your life. It will also make your life an exciting and pleasant place in which to live and others will want to live in that life with you. So why not get up and make today the day you begin to live your life out loud. Go ahead, you have nothing to lose, but everything to gain.

Live The Life That Is Best For YOU!

Exploring the world, exploring different cultures, getting to meet new people can help us to see and live our lives from a new and different mindset. When we look at all the things that others are going through, we will realize that the things that we once thought were important, no longer serves us. Instead of living a life of discontent, we learn to bring ourselves in line with contentment. We no longer chase down material things as a source for our happiness. We no longer view external things as a means of status and importance, and we no longer attach our happiness to external things. We become content with who we are as a person internally. We no longer live from the outside in, instead, we now live our life from the inside out.

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Life can throw a curve ball at us, and it is that spirit of contentment that will help you to address those life issues. That means that we do not need to argue our lives with anyone. That is why it is important to live the life that is best for You and not one that is dictated by someone else. That means that no one outside of you has the right to your life and how you live your life. If you live your life by the dictation of others, your life will crash and burn. We all have the presence of mind, heart, soul and spirit to know what is the best life for us.

Not all parents know what the best life is for their children. There are some parents who want to force the life they may have missed out on down their children’s throat or they may have this notion of what their child should become without even speaking to and getting to know their children and not even considering the individual passion of their children. They even go as far as to try to manipulate their children’s thoughts so that child(ren) can become a clone of them.

As a self-assured, mature adult, you do not need anyone to manipulate your mind, forcing you to think like them. That is a raping of the mind and a violation of our individuality. If anyone is trying to manipulate you, they are forcing you to live in pain with no sense of contentment in your life. Life is to be lived fully and passionately. There is nothing that you “should” be doing, nothing that you “ought” to be doing, if those things cause you internal mental, emotional pain and anguish.

There is no race to be or do anything. Stop running around like a chicken without a head. There is nothing in life that you should be rushing to do or become. Relax and allow your life to bring you what you need. Living your life passionately has nothing to do with rushing to make your life happen. Ask yourself, is what you are rushing around trying to get for your life, is that what you really want? Is it making you feel happy and passionate about living?

It is normal to want parents and other family members proud of us, however, they have already lived their lives and their life may not be your life. What they want for you is not what you want for yourself. Live the life that is best for you and your parents and family, friends and colleagues will learn to respect the new you. I use to be one of those individuals, although it was more about other family members than about parents. I had to learn to stand firmly on my feet and on my values and stand up to family members and not allow them to run me over with what they thought was best for me and my life. The operative phrase here is “my life”.

A few years ago, I had lunch with a friend and after lunch, I had nothing to do. Goodness mercy me. I did not know what to do with myself. I felt that I was being lazy because I wanted to go sit in Central Park and watch the ducks in the pond. The thought that I was being lazy was left over dirt stuck in my mind from my Jamaican upbringing. As a child, I was always thought to be lazy because I did not fit in with their programmed mentality of what a young female was supposed to be doing. I wasn’t lazy, but I let them think that.

My idea of work was the complete opposite of my supposed duties of being a young lady. Cooking, cleaning and serving the man of the house was not my idea of work that the other women so idealized. When I migrated to the United States and they heard that I was working, they were all shocked. See, I wasn’t lazy, even from that young age, I just did not have any intention of living my life by other people’s design. Oh, yes, I was vilified my entire teenage life. I was not being a “proper” young lady who should know her place. I lived my life my way. The same goes for you. Live your life by your design. Do not allow others to dictate your life, your purpose and your happiness.

Overtime, I was able to dig out all the stuck on dirt leftover from my childhood. I love living my life from the seat of my pants and it has always worked for me. I live my life passionately and not by some out-dated societal rules that belong in the dark-ages. I hate living a stuffy and restricted life. I’m a free spirit, born to run and travel free to anywhere that I wish to be. So living a restricted life makes me claustrophobic and I have asthma, so you can imagine my breathing dilemma.

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I love my Jamaican/Caribbean culture, and I love certain aspects of my upbringing, however, I refuse to live my life as a copy of the old way of living and being to which I was subjected. Now, I can live my life passionately, freely, openly and happily. New York City is a huge melting pot filled with so many cultures and languages that you don’t need to stay the same way forever. We are free to adopt a new culture; a new way of being that connects with who we want to be or who we are becoming. And no, you don’t need to live in New York City to have that kind of living. You can have it anywhere you are.

After living in an environment that is filled with arguing, contention, violence, hatred and abuse, I know that I do not want that kind of living ever again. Upon moving out on my own, my life started to know what peaceful, happy and passionate living felt like. Goodness, I never knew living a peaceful life could feel so good. Therefore, anything that interrupts my peaceful living, will not be tolerated anywhere near my life. No one should be allowed to dictate your life. If you are happy in your life and you are living and doing the things that contributes to your passionate living, then that is the life for you and others would need to respect that and if they don’t, it is still your passionate life that you will be enjoying.

The beauty of life is that we can always find new things to be passionate about. If something no longer brings you passionate living then find new ways to live the life that is best for You. What brings passionate living to your life? Are you stopping your life because of others? Are you allowing others to run your life, or are you thinking for yourself? What steps can you take so that you can start living the life that is best for you?

Life Insurance: Protect What You’ve Got

While insurance isn’t an investment, it’s an important part of sound, savvy personal financial management. Insurance is protection. It protects everything you’ve worked so hard to earn. It protects your spouse in the event of premature death. It sends the kids to college. It holds together a family at a time when money shouldn’t be a concern.

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You need insurance but shopping for the right coverage to protect your family and your assets is like learning a new language. Term life, whole life, universal life, actual cash value, dividends, loans against policy – it’s a maze of insurance products out there and finding the right coverage for your needs may take a little research.

Here’s a starter course on getting the most for the least in life insurance and still have the protection you and your family need.

Types of Life Insurance

There are two basic types of life insurance with numerous variations on a theme.

Term life insurance is the simplest to understand. It’s also the most economical protection you can buy.

Term life insurance is paid when the insured (you) pass on within a defined term – a defined length of time your life insurance coverage is in effect. Term life comes with a variety of time frames: five-, ten- even thirty-year terms are available.

The younger you are, the lower the cost of the monthly premium – the dollar amount you pay for protection each month. Premiums are calculated based on two factors – your age (and general health) and the dollar amount of protection you need. It’s simple. A $100,000 term life insurance policy won’t cost as much as a $500,000 policy because you’re buying less protection.

With term life, you keep things simple. The insurance company pays X amount of dollars to the beneficiaries when the insured individual passes on, as long as the policy is in effect, that is, the death occurs during the term of the policy, thus the name term life insurance.

Term life policies don’t accumulate value, you can’t borrow against them and, if you choose a short term and your health changes, you could end up paying more for your term life insurance than you would if you buy a long-term policy – one that covers you for the long term.

To determine how much term life you need, add up funeral costs, outstanding personal debt, mortgage debt, the prospect of paying tuition and other large expenses that would drain family resources. Figure what it would cost your family for a single year.

Then multiply by a factor between 5 and 10. Use the lower factor if you don’t have a lot of debt and the higher factor if you’re carrying a couple of mortgages and you have three kids to put through school. That’s how much term life you need to protect your family and all their expectations.

The other class of insurance is whole life insurance, also called permanent insurance, universal insurance, variable universal insurance and other product names, but all fall into the general class of coverage called whole life insurance.

The first difference between term and whole life is that whole life covers you from the day you buy the policy until you die. Of course, this assumes that you pay your whole life insurance premium each month. There is no term (length of time coverage is in effect) to whole life. Buy it when you’re young and your premiums will be low and you’ll start building cash value.

That’s the other main difference between term and whole life insurance coverage. Whole life pays dividends. Not a lot, but dividends that can be used to lower monthly premiums, or they can be allowed to accumulate earning interest.

Once the whole life policy has accumulated enough cash value you can borrow against that cash value to buy a house or cover some tuition bills. The downside to taking loans against the value of a whole life policy is that it lowers the payout to family in the event of the insured individual’s death.

However, a whole life policy does increase in value while providing protection for your family. The cost of coverage is also higher. Expect to pay more for $500K of whole life versus $500K of term life insurance, simply because the insurer is paying interest on your monthly premiums.

Calculate your coverage needs using the criteria listed above. Don’t think of whole life as a money-maker. It’s not intended to increase your wealth. That’s a side benefit. An important side benefit, but the primary reason for purchasing whole life is to protect your family in the event of your pre-mature death.

Life Insurance Sources

There are hundreds of insurance companies and even more life insurance products so talking to a knowledgeable professional is a good first step.

An insurance broker can advise you but, keep in mind, each insurance broker carries a “line” of products from a limited number of insurance providers so each broker will tell you her products are the best value.

If you do the math yourself, you know going in, how much coverage you want to buy, at which point, it’s just a matter of finding a reputable insurance company offering competitive rates and the benefits you’re looking for.

Another resource is your local bank – often the best place to start researching your life insurance needs. Banks sell a broad range of life insurance products and, because insurance isn’t the primary business of a bank, you’re more likely to get straightforward answers to your questions.

Another reason to visit your bank’s insurance rep is that your bank knows the financial you – how much you have in accounts, how much comes in and goes out on a month to month basis, your tax status and other personal finance information needed to get the right kind of life insurance at the right price.

Talk to your employer. Life insurance may be a benefit along with health care and two weeks vacation, but you may also be able to increase the dollar amount of coverage with money deducted from your paycheck painlessly.

Unions, associations, your local Chamber of Commerce and other organizations are also sources for low-cost term or whole life coverage. Purchasing life insurance coverage through an industry association, for example, gets you group rates that translate into more coverage at a lower monthly premium. On the other hand, when you purchase term or whole life through your union you usually don’t have a choice of insurers and that’s an important point to consider.

Go with an insurance company that’s ranked highly by Standard and Poor or some other rating organization. Your broker or banker will steer you toward quality of coverage so you get more for your money.

Life insurance sounds complicated but, when you break it down into simple terms, it’s something you can do with a trusted advisor to point you down the right path.

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Get life insurance. Get term life if you want lower premiums; get whole life if you want your insurance to build cash value against which you can take loans.

It’s your choice. Making the right one saves money and delivers the peace of mind that only quality life insurance protection delivers.

No one likes to think about buying life insurance. It’s depressing. It’s also essential to protect your family and your assets. What kind of life insurance is right for you? Here’s what you need to know before talking to an insurance agent or company.