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Trade-offs

Just last week, I was having a conversation with a close friend, when she remarked to me that all of life was a trade-off and we all needed to become good traders. She mentioned that we’re all trading one form of power for another as well as goods and services. This got me to thinking about what kind of trader I was. Naturally, I’m going to relate this to my personal growth, my business, my relationships and certainly to my ongoing quest for self-improvement.

In your personal life, your goal is to increase your return through your various trades on your efforts, your outputs and your energy. Your trading capital is your mental, emotional and physical energy. Your job is to get the highest possible return on the investment of yourself and your energies in your work and in your life.

So, in a way, all of life is a trade. You are continually trading your time and your life for the results and the rewards that are important to you and that you enjoy. At any given time you can look around you and total up the tangible and intangible assets of your life to determine just how well you have traded your time up until now. For example, if you are 30 years old and you have been working for 10 years and your net worth is $20,000.00, you have traded each of those working years for $2,000.00… Is this a good trade… or not? I mean, if someone offered you $2,000.00 per year plus expenses to work for them, would you take it? Probably not. But, if you’ve only accumulated $2,000.00 per year for the last 10 years, that’s the kind of trade you’ve been making.

However, one of the most important rules of success is this; it doesn’t matter where you’re coming from, all that really matters is where you’re headed. This is how I see it; if you’re not happy with how well you’ve traded in the past, it’s up to you to decide, right now…how to trade differently and better in the future. If you’re not happy with your current return on your invested energy, again, it’s up to you to improve the quantity and quality of your services, and to concentrate your energy single-mindedly where you can get a higher return in the months and years ahead.

Through years of Taekwon-Do training, I’ve learned that in concentrating your powers, your ability to think, to decide and then to discipline yourself to deploy your energies for a higher and better return is absolutely indispensable to your eventual success and happiness. And here’s the good news; when you are concentrating all your energy single-mindedly on high-value activities, you immediately feel happier, you feel more alive, you simply feel better about yourself.

Once you’ve focused yourself on completing high-value tasks, you’ll get more energy and over time, you’ll create new and better habits that will serve you well. In fact, eventually you’ll lose patience with low-value activities and will only concentrate on activities that are more rewarding. In short, you’ll be a better trader.

Mack Newton

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