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Are You a Shopoholic?

shopping_mall There is a group that is suffering more than most during these tough economic times. Unfortunately, their agony is not covered much in the major media. They are all around us. Yet we seldom see the turmoil that they are experiencing. They have chosen to largely endure it on their own, not talking about it to anyone.

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Who are we talking about?

Shopoholics!

This economy has really made an impact on this group of people. There are a lot of people who claim to be shopoholics. But most people who call themselves shopoholics probably don’t really have a problem that borders on an obsession.

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georgeOne of my sisters can shop all day long and never buy anything. She just seems to love being in a shopping arena … she’s a gladiator among shoppers!

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marylynnBoy, I’m not one of those people. I like to get in and out. I have an aunt who likes to do all-day shopping ventures. It gives me a headache and makes me dizzy.

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Problems experienced by compulsive buyers

We’ve taken a light-hearted approach so far, but this problem is more serious than we realize. A recent study, conducted jointly by researchers at the University of Richmond and the University of Illinois, found that true shopoholics comprise a larger percentage of the population than is generally assumed.

About nine percent of the participants were found to be “compulsive buyers” according to this study. True shopoholics feel better when they buy things, tend to hide purchases, have more family arguments, and are more likely to have maxed out their credit cards.

Test yourself

Perhaps the most interesting item to come out of this research is the test they used to determine if someone is a shopoholic. The researchers asked participants to rate the degree to which they agreed or disagreed with these six statements.

They used a 7-point scale, which we haven’t seen but can imagine it looked something like this:

1 = Strongly disagree
2 = Disagree
3 = Somewhat disagree
4 = Neutral
5 = Somewhat agree
6 = Agree
7 = Strongly agree

See how you do:

  • My closet has unopened shopping bags in it.

  • Others might consider me a "shopaholic."

  • Much of my life centers around buying things.

  • I buy things I don’t need.

  • I buy things I did not plan to buy.

  • I consider myself an impulse purchaser.

Participants who scored 25 or more were considered compulsive buyers by the researchers. If your score places you in this group, you’re at the first step to overcoming it – you’re aware it is a problem. The next step is to get professional help.

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How ironic

This economy is really crimping the style of “casual” shoppers – people who really like to shop and spend money, but who aren’t really compulsive buyers.

And isn’t it ironic that many of us are being forced to cut back when everything seems to be on sale? From cars to electronics to travel, now is a great time to shop if you have the money.

But of course, that’s the reason these deals exist. People are saving their money at a higher rate now instead of spending it. We’ve learned some valuable lessons in the last few months.

Conspicuous consumption is out; frugality is in. So are we going to hear about “save-a-holics” in the coming years? That remains to be seen.

Well, we better wrap it up for now … it’s time to go shopping!

Thanks for reading our post today. Until next time, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00331-021609.mp3

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(Image in today's post by Vincitrice)

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The Marshmallow Test

The Marshmallow Experiment was conducted in the 1960s by Walther Mischel at Stanford University. It was popularized by Daniel Goleman, perhaps best known for his books Emotional Intelligence and Social Intelligence.

The test
The researchers gathered a group of four-year olds in a room. A researcher set a marshmallow in front of each kid. The kids were told that the researcher needed to run an errand. If the kid didn’t eat the marshmallow before the researcher got back, the kid would be given a second marshmallow. However, if the kid ate the marshmallow, he or she would not get another one.

Picture yourself at four-years old.
Could you have resisted that tasty marshmallow?

Some ate their marshmallow before the researcher even got out of the room! Others seem to have no problem not resisting the temptation. Some turned their back on the marshmallow. Others sang a song or distracted themselves in other ways. One kid reportedly even licked the table around the marshmallow!

The reward for waiting was pretty good – a 100 percent increase in marshmallows! Interestingly enough, ALL the kids expected a second marshmallow – even the kids who ate theirs!

The follow-up
The researchers tracked these kids in the subsequent years. They surveyed their parents and their teachers. They found that, in general, the kids who had been able to resist the marshmallows were better adjusted and more dependable.

They were more competent socially and more self-assertive. They were able to cope with frustration and stress much better. They embraced challenges rather than seeing them as a huge obstacle. They also scored 210 points higher on their SAT exams.

So what’s your marshmallow?
We’ve all heard about rock-n-rollers who came to fame and fortune early. They make a lot of money; then blow it all. They think it will always be there.

Some time later, we hear they’re out touring again, because they’re out of money. They have to start over because they don’t have any marshmallows left. Obviously we’re stereotyping rock-n-rollers … they haven’t all fallen into this trap.

Here’s the ironic thing — by resisting that treat now, you can have more later! Here are some thoughts to help you get the most marshmallows.

#1 – Keep your eye on the final prize.
Focus on what you ultimately want, not your marshmallows. What’s your dream life? Keep that in front of you. You’ll resist the marshmallows now so you get more later.

#2 – Find techniques that work for you.
Just like with the kids, we each need to find what works best for us. For example, you may find that paying yourself first helps you resist your marshmallows. Many people have found that as long as they don’t see the money, they don’t miss it.

Other people won’t buy anything unless they have the cash to pay for it. This simple requirement helps them resist many marshmallows.

Mary-Lynn shared her technique – she focuses on her needs, rather than her wants. She’s ready for a new smart phone. She wants an iPhone, but she’ll get a phone that’s a couple of hundred dollars less. It suits her needs just fine.

 

How do you resist the marshmallows in your life? Leave us a comment.

#3 – Reward yourself when you reach a desired goal.
A couple of days ago, we talked about The Stairway To Success. We discussed the steps that will get you to the top of your stairway. When you reach a desired goal – reward yourself.

Don’t overdo it – you do want to enjoy a marshmallow now and then … just don’t get so full that you can’t make it up the stairs!

 

Get our FREE Bigg Goal-Setters Workbook.

It’s a great tool to help you set your marshmallow marks – those points where you give yourself a treat! Just sign up for the Bigg Success Weekly newsletter – It’s FREE, too!

Our Bigg Quote today is by the great Brian Tracy:

“The ability to discipline yourself to delay gratification
in the short term in order to enjoy greater rewards in the
long term is the indispensable pre-requisite for success.”

So plan your life and live your plan …. and go ahead, have a marshmallow now and then!

Next time, we’ll answer a question from one of our listeners who wants to know if he should count on his employer’s counter offer.

In the meantime, we’re off for a cup of hot chocolate … topped with marshmallows, of course! Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Test Yourself: Do You Think Bigg?

By Bigg Success Staff
10-01-08

Test Yourself

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Here’s a quick test to measure the size of your thinking. We adapted this from David Schwartz’s great book, The Magic of Thinking Big. The only thing we don’t like about his book is that he spelled “bigg” wrong!

There are twelve situations presented here with two ways to think about each one. See which answer most closely matches how you see the world.

Expense Accounts  
 
Do you increase your income by …
a) … aggressively reporting expenses on your expense account?
b) … producing more?

Conversation
Do you talk about the …
a) … negative qualities of people you know when they’re not there?
b) … positive qualities of people you know when they’re not there?

Progress
Do you believe in …
a) … maintaining the status quo?
b) … expansion?

Future
Do you see the future as …
a) … limited?
b) … very promising?

Work

Do you look for ways to …
a) … avoid work?
b) … do more work, especially helping others?

Competition
Do you compete with the …
a) … average?
b) … best?

Budgeting

Do you increase by bottom line by …
a) … cutting back on necessary items?
b) … increase income to buy more necessary items?

Goals
Do you set your goals …
a) … low?
b) … high?

Vision
Do you focus on …
a) … the short-term?
b) … the long-run?

Security
With which of the following statements do you most agree …
a) Security means success?
b) Success leads to security?

Mistakes

Do you handle minor errors by …
a) … turning them into major issues?
b) … ignore them if they have little consequence?

Companionship
Do you surround yourself with people who mostly chose …
a) … Answer “a)” above?
b) … Answer “b)” above?

Obviously, small thinkers answer “a)” to the questions above. Bigg thinkers choose “b)” and they surround themselves with other bigg thinkers – birds of a feather.

Admittedly, this seems like a simple list. However, when we looked deeper into the list, we realized that there are times when we fall back to “small” thinking. The challenge is to fight that urge, whenever it occurs, and keep thinking bigg. Another challenge is to always spell “bigg” right!

Hear today’s lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed

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Test Your Team Spirit

By Bigg Success Staff
08-07-08

Test Yourself

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Building a great team starts with creating the right environment. Here’s an awesome quiz that helps you better understand the atmosphere required to foster teamwork.

It will take you less than 5 minutes to answer the 10 questions. The answers are available on the same page. But don’t cheat!

You can also see your team’s score along with an interpretation of what it means for the future. Go team go!

Hear today’s lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show.

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed

More Test Yourself

Decision-Making Test

How Stressed Are You?

Left Brain or Right Brain – Which Do You Use More? 

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Decision-Making Test

By Bigg Success Staff
07-30-08

Test Yourself

decisions

How well do you understand decision making? The people at CNN Money have developed a great little quiz to help you know.

Spend 5 minutes or so finding out. You’ll see the correct answer after you answer each of the 10 questions. Then you can see your final score at the end.

Click here to take the quiz now!

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

 

More Test Yourself

How Stressed Are You?

Left Brain or Right Brain – Which Do You Use More?

Are You a Good Listener?

(Image by nookiez)

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Left Brain or Right Brain – Which Do You Use More?

By Bigg Success Staff
06-26-08

Test Yourself

brain_test 

If you’ve ever taken a basic psychology class, you may remember that most of us use one side of our brain more than the other. The left brain is our logical side, while the right brain is more creative. 

Brainworks has a test that tells you which side of your brain is dominant. It will take about 10 minutes to answer the 20 questions. When you’re done, you’ll see your personal brain usage profile.

It will tell you which side of your brain you use more. Also check out the additional summary page for what it all means.

Click here to take the test and see how your brain works!
 

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

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Do You Make a Good First Impression?

By Bigg Success Staff
06-11-08 

Test Yourself

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Straight from the good people at Men’s Health, here’s a great quiz to test if you make a good first impression. There’s only 8 questions so it will take you less than 5 minutes to find out.

Once you’re done, you’ll instantly see how you scored. Even better, they give you the details on each answer so you can learn what you should do to make the best impression.

Take the test now!

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

More Test Yourself 

Can You Read People?

Who are You?

Are You an Optimist or a Pessimist?

World’s Shortest Personality Test

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