Outstanding

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Life’s Four Phases

Life's Phases

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” -Helen Keller

Life has four phases. From age 1 through 20, most people are discovering, observing, forming opinions, stumbling, falling and learning, and hopefully retaining. From age 21 to 45, people implement and live off and improve on experiences gotten during two decades plus and chart a known decidedly solid (or conversely shaky) path, as they build on those foundations for a better quality of life. From age 46 to 65, people live off plans set earlier, the golden years, reinforced, enjoyed, and are satisfied that their legacy will outlive them. From age 66 to 80, the golden years continue to be savored as family branches draw out far out.

After 80 especially, these are bonus years and serve as a period to look back and either appreciate, or regret one’s life. This period of reflection and the conclusions drawn therefrom can make a difference on how many bonus years we would or would not have. If we missed the first quarter, the likelihood of making up in the second quarter becomes slim or difficult; not impossible though, but onerous. If we got the first and second quarters right, then we might not retire into frustration, want, dependency, misery, or poverty. The first quarter determines how well the second quarter would turn out to be. It is very important for parents to ensure the first quarter is successful. It is largely parental responsibility. The first, and more importantly, second quarter are therefore very critical in determining the type of legacy we leave for our progeny and for posterity. Once anyone misses any quarter, playing catch up turns to become a near permanent pursuit, draining energy, time, resources, and rarely succeeding. We must guard against this trap, especially if our parents got the first quarter right for us. For societies wherein talent and hard work are not readily recognized and compensated adequately, these equations change dramatically.

The core message here is that most people do not plan to fail, but they just fail to plan. Within the society in which we live, with the ebb and flow of countless and sometimes conflicting forces, albeit having a relatively level playing field, good plans serve as road maps to goal attainment. Procrastinators and analysts often fall prey to the law of diminishing intent and diminishing returns as protracted analysis leads instead to prolonged paralysis and inertia. These pitfalls must be avoided. This state of being is exacerbated for those who are too steeped in uni-linear belief systems, dogmatic practices and closed mindedness, rendering them unwilling to embrace change and seize on new opportunities. This bubble mentality is one of the main causes of failure, or a less-than-satisfactory or successful life. Another term for it is comfort zone. Only brave hearts burst out of their comfort zone, seize opportunities, and act on them. This explains why only a small minority sits atop the pyramid of life with a comfortable lifestyle, while the increasingly larger majority have a life and remain at the crowded wider bottom, the uncomfortable zone, or as it is often misguidedly called, the comfort zone.

P.S. “For everything you have missed, you have gained something else; and for everything you gain, you lose something else. It is about your outlook towards life. You can either regret or rejoice.” -Anonymous

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About the Author:

Joseph Fomunung is a seasoned entrepreneur and Senior Marketing Director with World Financial Group, Inc. He helps everyday families build a solid financial foundation by educating them on tried and true financial concepts (not taught in schools) that create wealth while protecting their income, effectively ending legacies of poverty, perpetual debt and financial struggle. He lives in Houston, TX with his wife, Theresia, and can be reached at sabumsr@yahoo.com.

A Perfect Love

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Masterpiece (Mother’s Day Tribute)

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“Let the broken pieces within you combine to create your masterpiece.” -kR

I was broken and downtrodden, recklessly abandoned; a little bird eating half a worm because father flew away long before I was hatched.

Poor mother, defending me from predators was a tall task for one with a broken wing. And yet she flew about tirelessly all day and every day. And somehow managed to keep my little beak pecking and our small nest warm.

I remember every so often a few of the stronger birds would be kind to her, but she’d say thank you only through a deep sigh. It was as if they weren’t gifts after all, like she’d had to pay for it all with bits and pieces of her very flesh and soul.

Today, I buried Mama underneath the old branch where she’d nurtured me long ago. My only regret is that she had to leave this tree before seeing the nest egg I was building for her. But in the end, I could tell she was happy because she said where she’s going her once shattered heart will be made whole again.

You see, birds see it all from our vantage point. Sunshine and blue skies, heavy rain and thunderstorms; hail, fleet, and snow—through it all, I have learned to fly higher than the clouds, no matter the weather. Because, ultimately, whether nested by just one bird or two I am still a bird. And everybody knows birds were meant to fly.

P.S. This one is dedicated to all those who are able to do more with less, especially single mothers the world over, who have either raised their children to become successful men and women or are currently raising them accordingly. Godspeed.

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The Road Less Traveled

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Facing Our Fears

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“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” -Edmund Burke

The only thing more tragic than any act of terrorism is for those of us who bear witness to its evil to feed on the frenzy of fear that abounds in its wake. We are not made in the spirit of fear, and have nothing to fear but fear itself. To be afraid in a singular, uncertain, shocking moment is to be human, but to constantly live in a state of fear as a result of the isolated act of a coward or the coordinated/systematic act of a group of cowards, is to display even greater cowardice! evil is like a snake; a slithering, sneaky creature with a venomous bite. It could be far, it could be near, but there’s no mistaking its nature. But Good…oh God, Good! Good is the mighty heel destined to always crush evil’s ugly head. Good is constant, timeless, and far reaching; and even the shadow of Good is vast! Even the whisper of Good is thunderous!

We must understand that it is not by some naive fallacy, childlike fantasy or mere coincidence that in our holy books, history stories, movies, novels, fictional tales and other literature, Good consistently triumphs over evil; no matter the odds, no matter the ills, no matter the long suffering. No, it is the very fabric of human nature. It is at the very core of the natural order. It is by the very perfect design of our Creator. Yes, evil may be bold for a moment, but its day of reckoning eventually dawns. No matter how dark the night in the aftermath of a tragedy like the one our nation has just witnessed via the Boston Marathon Bombings, the sun shall yet rise in the wake of a new day. And its blinding light shall serve as a daily reminder to us that it is light that will drive out darkness, that it is waking to the morning sun that will end our nightmares. It will undoubtedly remind us that it is unrelenting good that will overwhelm unsolicited evil. It will also remind US that while it sets on us momentarily as darkness befalls us and our own darkness consumes us, it never stops its tireless work (shining light on ALL the world) but remains shining elsewhere…perhaps on another distant land, in another foreign nation that experienced similar or greater terror on the eve of our own, or may yet experience similar or greater suffering in the morrow, when the sun returns to shine upon US once more.

This is our defining lesson:  the Sun is constant! God is constant! Good is constant! Love is constant! We too must be constant! We must be Good. We won’t all be Good. We won’t always be Good. But by God, We MUST be Good! In the face of evil, we must look it in the eye, and boldly say, “It’s all GOOD!” Let us be as indiscriminate in spreading our Good as the sun is in shining its light. Evil has played it’s card. Now, it’s clearly our move. So, let’s do some GOOD! Right here, and everywhere! Together, let’s be light. Together, let’s be constant. Together, let’s be Good! Godspeed Boston!

P.S. “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” -F.D.R.

This is really a tribute that extends beyond Boston. This is a message in honor of the multitude of innocent people around the world (in Pakistan, in other parts of the Middle East, in many parts of Africa, and elsewhere) who are victims of failed politics, vile, corrupt and inhumane systems, powerful, faceless, and nameless individuals, who perpetrate evil “acts of terror” from the secrecy and false sense of security the shadows in which they linger gives them, whether they be so-called “terrorist organizations”, foreign and/or domestic, or whether they be our very own US Government. We must combat evil in all its manifestations, as indiscriminately and unapologetically as we spread Good. Ultimately, whatever is done in the dark will be brought to light, and upon a day, we shall all atone for the roles we each play(ed) on our shared Earth, in this life or the next. God help us all.

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Do Your Worst

Do Your Worst

 

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99 Problems but I ain’t One

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Believing is Seeing

No-Vision

“The eyes typically see what lies before them; the mind on the other hand can often see what lies beyond.” -kR

If you don’t understand me, then human nature suggests you won’t stand by me.
Therefore, I must forgive you for that which you can hardly change.
Most people, including some of those closest to you, believe that seeing is believing.
But I tell you, there are some things in this life that necessitate first believing in order to see.
Vis-à-vis this truth, I wouldn’t want to go into battle with a soldier who cannot believe our victory is won prior to seeing us hoist the flag.
Such is my disposition on faith, dreams, life, love, and all the works I do.
To all who have chosen or will choose to follow me in some venture big or small, some quest minute or grave, I ask only a few simple things of you:
Close your eyes and behold your bright future, turn your ears inward and listen only for the voices within your heart.
Stumble forward if you must but march on valiantly.
Do not be concerned because you cannot see what lies at the top of the winding staircase; concern yourself simply with reaching the next bend.
If you would trust what you believe more than what you see, then surely one day you will see what you believe.

Trust me, I did.

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