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Retirement Planning an Easier Way

retirement planning an easier way blog image

There’s good news on retirement planning, whether you’re early in your career or further along.

We discussed an easier way to plan for your retirement on The BIGG Success Show today. Here’s a summary of that discussion.

This show was inspired by a study on the power of retiring later, published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Which of these two options sounds harder to you…

(1) saving 1% more every year for 30 years, or

(2) postponing your retirement by 4 months

The two of us agreed that Option 1 sounds harder. Yet the researchers found the two options deliver similar results.

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The Downside of Finding Your Passion

the downside to finding your passion blog image

We discussed finding your passion on The BIGG Success Show today. Click the player to listen, or keep reading for a summary of that discussion.

This show was inspired by a study on finding your passion to be published in Psychological Science.

The research shows people are led astray by the advice to “find your passion”. It makes it harder to discover one’s passion. So you get stuck. In fact, that’s a conclusion we came to years ago here on BIGG Success.

Fortunately, there is a better way…

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A Tip to Save Money at the Store

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We want to share a tip on how to save money at the store with you today. As we share it, we’re sipping on coffee. It’s because we saw an interesting study about coffee cups. Yes, we can learn an important lesson from coffee cups.

We talked about this on The BIGG Success Show today ( click the player to listen)

Here’s the show summary:

The experiment

Participants were handed a coffee cup. They were told it sold at a local retail store for $4.95.
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The Ironic Starting Point of BIGG Success

starting point on road to BIGG Success

The starting point of BIGG Success is part gratitude, part discontent. Find out why in this BIGG Success Show Podcast.

The starting point of all BIGG success is a paradox. We’ve become convinced of this, based on studying the research but also from personal experience. We’d like to share what we learned with you today.

BIGG success starts at the intersection of gratitude and discontent.

These two attitudes, seemingly in conflict, work together to create the success you crave. Let’s look at them one at a time before we talk about how they partner up for your BIGG success.

The starting point of BIGG success is part gratitude

Robert Emmons is considered the world’s leading scientific authority on gratitude. He has found all kinds of amazing benefits of gratefulness. But we want to zero in on gratitude’s effect on achieving your goals.

His research shows that participants who habitually kept a gratitude journal made 20% more progress toward their goals than participants who didn’t. At the end of each week, the first group simply listed five things they were grateful for.

Yet this simple act – which can be done in less than five minutes – led to significant returns on the investment of time. Gratitude is the input. Progress is the outcome.

The starting point of BIGG success is also part discontent

Now let’s move to discontent. Research shows that the happiest people make 15% more per year than the unhappiest people.

Now, we hear you – you’re thinking, “I’d be happy too if I made 15% more a year!” But the study looked at people about 19 years after they reported a general feeling of happiness or unhappiness. First, they asked college students to rate their general state of happiness on a 10-point scale. Then – nearly two decades later – they compared incomes, based on level of happiness. The happiest were making 15% more than the unhappiest.

It just goes to show…happiness buys money!

Pretty amazing, huh? But the real surprise is what the researchers found next. They looked at people who were happy but not the happiest – i.e. they were above average on the happiness scale but not at the top. They made 6% more than the happiest! So it pays not to be too happy!

Let’s summarize what we’ve learned so far. First, habitually grateful people make 20% more progress toward their goals. Second, the happiest people make 15% more than the unhappiest people. But third, people who are happy but not content make yet 6% more!

The starting point of BIGG success is where these two attitudes meet

It begs the question: How can you be grateful and discontent at the same time? Surprisingly, it’s easier than you might think. Gratefulness forces you to break destructive thought patterns. You stop comparing yourself to others.

You recognize the help others have given you, so you realize you’re not alone in your journey.

You acknowledge the gifts you have been given, realizing the presence of a Higher Power at work in your life.

You focus on what you have, instead of what you don’t have.

As we mentioned earlier, the research on gratitude showed a number of benefits. Not surprisingly, one of them was increased optimism. Another was higher energy levels.

Which leads to a healthy discontent. You’re grateful for all you have. But you know you can accomplish more. You can help more people.

You can’t wait. You must get started now. It leads to BIGG success!

Have you experienced the combination of gratitude and discontent?

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/biggsuccess/00902-112514.mp3

disconnect from smartphones for BIGG Success

How to Be Less Happy and More Anxious

disconnect from smartphones for BIGG Success
Is your smartphone making you less happy and more anxious? George & Mary-Lynn discuss a study that says it does on The BIGG Success Show.

Thanks to smartphones, we are constantly connected to our friends, our family, and our work. As a result, we are less happy and more anxious.

A new Kent State University study of college students shows those who spend hours each day online, texting or talking on cellphones are more anxious, less happy and get lower grades. The students who were “less addicted” to checking their phones were better off.

Speaking of addiction, another study shows that many people suffer from anxiety if they lose or forget their phone, even if only for a few minutes. That rush of anxiety and fear some feel once they realize their disconnected is called nomophobia -as in no-mo(bile) phone-phobia.

How do we break our addiction to technology? It won’t be easy. According to a Pew Research Center survey, for the first time, a majority of American adults (56%) own smartphones. And people are checking them everywhere: while watching TV, at the movies, at the dinner table, in church, in bed, and while driving.

How to Feel Happier and Less Anxious

Do we really have to talk, text, tweet or post so much? No we don’t.

Andrew Lepp, one of the researchers in the Kent State study says, “You need time to be alone with your thoughts, and recover from the daily stressors in a way that doesn’t involve electronic media.”

Ways to Disconnect:

  • Meditate
  • Go for a walk without your headphones
  • Read an old-fashioned hardback book
  • Do some household chores
  • Journal with pen and paper

Quiet time lets your mind rest. Stress diminishes, attention and memory improve, endorphins are released. Your creative process is allowed to work. You can explore meaningful thoughts which can provide important direction in your life.

Use this time to refresh, and realize it will take practice to achieve. To get started, try to dedicate at least fifteen minutes a day for quiet time. Keep track of the days you do this. Pay attention to your stress levels on the days you unplug, versus the days you don’t.

It’s your choice! You can be constantly connected and feel less happy and more anxious. Or, you can disconnect for a short time every day to feel happier and more at ease, which leads to BIGG Success!

Will you commit to disconnecting daily? What will you do with your quiet time?

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/biggsuccess/00887-121713.mp3

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