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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The power of negative energy

What is negative energy

We hear a lot about positive thinking and what miracles it can do to our thought process, our actions, our goals and ultimately our lives. Yet, we see so many people around us talking negative things. Pick up a newspaper, tune into a TV channel or just have a group chat over tea with some of your old friends - you are most likely to come out of the discussion in a more "negative frame of mind" than positive. Are these negative statements really detrimental to us or can we harness this "immense" negative energy into our benefit? Let us see.

Negative Energy is still an Energy
While negative energy is not what we want, it is still an "immense source" of energy and it depends on wwhether we can potentially convert that "negative" energy to "positive" energy. If we can do that, imagine the amount of energy that we would possess and the kind of thrust this can provide to achieve our seemingly tough goals.

Can we transform negative energy to positive energy
Those of you who are parents must have surely witnessed this. Even those who are not parents but have dealt with a small child can also relate with this. A child wants a particular glass showpiece which you bought from an exquisite store and have nurtured it till date, and obviously, you do not wan to part away with that beautiful and admirable piece of glass. To prevent the child getting his hand to it, you place it at a higher level in your showcase. What we are unknowingly trying to do here is that we are passing a negative energy to the child saying that he cannot reach the target now. What do you think the child does? Does he get demotivated by this negativism or he still tries to reach his target - this time with even more energy to reach the same target. My experienced fellows would say that the later is true. So, what the child has done is that he has converted the negative energy (someone telling him that he cannot do it) to a positive energy (the child becoming more adamant to get it). So, it is possible to convert energies from one form to another. Just like we can convert electric energy to heat energy in an electric heater, our mind can convert the negative energy to positive energy and we all know that there is no shortage of negative energy around us.

What transforms negative energy to positive energy

It is always the strength of your goals that would transform this freely available negative energy to positive energy. I remember that every time someone used to tell me that I cannot be financially free or I will find it difficult to write a book, i used to smile at the person but my mind used to conceptualize thoughts like : "I am going to show him now that i can do it", " I am going to prove him wrong" and all these thoughts provided lot of positive energy to my goals. At that stage, I had no evidence that i can achieve my goals, no one had ever written a book in my family history, no one in my known group had ever achieved financial freedom but i was clear with my dream...and that dream was acting as a convertor to convert all the negativity around me to positive energy which boosted my belief in my goals.

So, go on, strengthen your dreams and collate all the huge amount of negativity around you, and then use the power of your dream to convert that into immense positive energy which can fuel your goals even further.

Cheers !!

Manoj Arora

Monday, July 30, 2012

Your results will keep you going !!

Some of my friends that follow my blog and regularly interact with me gave some specific comments on Financial Freedom. Their point of view was that they are very eagerly awaiting  the next steps on how to get financially free. They are very keen to know what are the steps 1 to 10 that they must follow so that they can be financially free as fast as possible. While they want to know the steps, I am still focusing my posts on dreams, motivation, drive, inspiration and passion. Why am i not hopping over to the actual steps to achieve

Sunday, July 29, 2012

One person can make ALL the difference

It is a very common practice to say something like "What can I do?" or "Even if i change, will everyone around me change?" or "Can one person make any difference when we are talking about millions of people that need to change?"

If you are not inspired enough or do not have enough self belief, then go and watch the last episode of Satyamev Jayate which was aired today...and you will see so many stories of single men and women making a huge difference to the society, just with the foundation of their self belief and determination and fighting all obstacles and hardships on their way.

I know most of you would not have the time to watch the entire episode. So, let me brief you a few examples of what i saw:

- One woman (who was a vegetable seller) and lost her husband at a young age because she could not pay for his medication, pledges to help poor and needy people who come in want of medical treatment. She goes on to continue to sell vegetables, collect money, educate her only son to become a doctor, and then both son and mom gather all their savings to run a huge charitable hospital of their own. Today, they treat more than 100 patients a day. Have they made any difference? It was just one woman's determination and grit that is changing lives of millions in and around their village.
-  One man (yes, exactly 1 man) realizes the huge distance his villagers have to commute daily to go across to the other side of the mountain for work. He decides to cut an entire mountain and convert a 70km stretch to 7km with a simple hammer and chisel in his hand. People call him crazy and insane for may years, but he continues to do what he dreams of doing each day and every day for the nest 22 years. It takes him 22 years but he completes his mission. The fact that he completes it is a reminder of his self belief and never say die attitude.
- One woman who was gang raped at the age of 8 and is not easily accepted by the society thereafter decides to dedicate her life for the upliftment of all such women, to bring them out of prostitution and make them economically and socially viable. That woman and her team face enormous challenges every day including the fear of their lives but nothing has stopped them for the last 20 years and they continue to uplift the society. 

There were many other such stories. But when i actually saw all of these brave men and women on my television screen, i felt so proud of all of them. They had one thing to say in common : If you have the right intent and the will power to achieve something, the entire universe will conspire to help you achieve your goals.

Do you think they made any difference? They all did make a HUGE difference. Not only they achieved what they set out for, they also created a sense of hope and self belief for the people around them. And "Hope" is a big thing. If you have seen people doing and achieving great results in adverse conditions around you, you would also get the belief that you can also do it. This is contagious and that is how one person can turn this into a revolution.

If they all kept waiting for others to change or if they kept thinking that what can i do as a single person, the world would never have become a better place.

One man or woman can make all the difference..provided he or she has the will power, determination and the right intent. It does not matter whether you know how to do it or not. You may be absolutely blank in terms of how to execute your plan, but if you have the necessary ingredients of will power, determination and good intent, there is one additional supernatural force that works with you (the force of GOD) and when this force starts working with you, everything around you starts behaving in a way that they all want to help you achieve what you have set out for .

So, pick up your lost dreams, don't throw them away thinking that these cannot be achieved or what can you do alone about it. You can make ALL the difference that is needed,. It is just a question of getting started with the right intent and self belief. GOD will come along with you, and you will also cherish this journey.

This is exactly how i also achieved financial freedom. This is also how i wrote a book. Am i a professional author? No. Did someone tell me how to achieve financial freedom? No. Was i born in a family with financial background? Absolutely no. I was just clear with my dreams, had the right intent, gathered enough courage on the way and kept making my dreams stronger with each passing day...

Go on, this is the only life you have. How many years you will live? I don't know? Will you be able to fulfill your dreams? I have no idea. What i know is that if you get started with the right intent, God will come and help you on the way...and you will feel HIS presence !!. your true dreams...don't be a loser !! Do not repent later that you should have at least tried !!


Manoj Arora

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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Whose Country is this anyways

I know there are lot of my blog readers for whom India is not their motherland. Though this specific post has a reference of India in many parts, but the same learning would apply to any country.

Before we analyze our relationship with our country, let us come down a few levels and try and establish what relationship exists between our own self and our house where we stay and spend most part of our lives. We all love our house. Isn't it? We do all that is possible to keep it neat, clean, tidy and in fact as decorative as feasible. Any slightest untidiness is not what we can tolerate so easily. I asked a very simple question to some of my friends on this topic. I simply asked them why do you love your home so much and why do you keep it so neat and clean? As expected, the answers very varying in nature.

- Some of them said that we love our house because we stay there with our family, and we love our family. We keep it neat and clean because we want to stay in a neat and clean environment, which is less prone to diseases. I agree. Who wants to get sick? Correct.
- Some said that our house reflects our own personality and therefore i want to keep it as neat and clean as i keep myself. Some even reminded me that "Neatness is Godliness". Completely agreed.
- Some even said that there are visitors coming to our house and we do not want them to come and stay in a place which is not healthy enough.
- A selected few even said that the state of our own mind is driven by the state of our surroundings... whether the surroundings are our office or our home. So, if one want to stay in a positive and a clear state of mind, make sure that the surroundings are neat and tidy. Well, quite a good point.

I agree to all of the points above. There were many more answers but the above represents the main summary. Many of you would agree to some or the other point listed above or you may have some of your unique point as well. Whatever be the case, the whole point of discussion is that we consider our house as "our" house and we will do anything and everything to make sure it is in the best of condition.

Let me quickly define a house before moving further.
The most common definition of a house available on the internet is "A place for human habitation, esp. one that is lived in by a small group of people.".

Now if the regular house is for a small family, don't you think that a country serves the same purpose to many families put together. And our planet serves the same purpose for all the countries put together. Then why the hell we cannot take care of our surroundings as we do for our house. Forget about decorating the surroundings, do we even care about not throwing litter on the roads, or if we see litter on the road, do we care to pick it up and throw it in the dustbin? Not always. Why not? Wont we do that in our house? Always.

What stops us from doing the same in our society and country at large as we do in our house as a daily routine. Simple reason - "Whose country is it anyways". Do i really consider my country as "my own" country. May be not in the true sense of it. Well, we do recognize ourselves as citizens of India, but what are our duties beyond that? We keep fighting for our rights, but what happened to our duties? Duties seem to have gone on the back-burner. Before we ask for an explanation from our government on corruption (I know it is our right to ask), did we perform our duty that we ourselves will not support corruption by any means - whether it is giving traffic chalans / tickets, black money for school admissions or whatever area. How many of us would take the tough (but correct) path of not giving black money during our kids admission to school and fighting for his / her admission on merit? Hardly any. Why? Because we feel that is very tough, and if i can afford it, why should i bother? Or may be because we felt that this act is not corruption, or because we were plainly helpless. Or because we feel that we can be corrupt but others should not be.  Whatever be your excuse, come out of it !!

Agreed, that our country is faced with multiple challenges today because of which we fail to become the best in the world. But who is responsible for those challenges? Just those few thousand politicians? If that is our thinking, we are grossly mistaken. If a change has to come, it has to come in each one of us. Everyone wants to change the country and the world, but no one wants to change themselves. How will then this change come?

It has to and it will start from each one of us. It will start from me and from you. I will make sure that i treat my surroundings and my society as my own house. Remember that a good intent is very contageous. Change will come if we all agree to the fact that we all need to change, change will come when we take personal responsibility of changing ourselves and through it the entire nation would change. Will it happen overn ight? No. But will it be worth it? Definitely.

Whose country is this anyways? Mine, and i am going to take care of it.

Why am i telling you all this, and what does all this have to do with Financial Freedom. I do not know about any of you because each one of us have different dreams in life. But this has definitely to do something about me. I am going to start this change.. and as i bring this change in my society, i will keep sharing my experiences with all of you. Do i have to change the entire country? No. I have to just change myself and expect that few more people around me (people like you who are reading this blog) will catch the good intent and take this forward. If this starts, it is not difficult to bring the change in the entire nation.

Where does Financial Freedom come into picture in this story? Financial Freedom has now given me the time to fulfill two of my biggest dreams in life... 1. To plant 1 million trees and 2. To educate 1 million under- privileged children. Am i aiming too high? I don't know. But i am going to try it. and if some of you remember from my yesterdays post [Your Dream is Your First Step]...

If the dream is big enough, facts don't count !!

Cheers !!

Manoj Arora

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Friday, July 27, 2012

Your Dream is your First Step

Ever wondered what kick started some of the biggest accomplishments in history? It has always been a burning desire in some crazy person's brain - something that we also term as a "Dream".

"Dreams are the seedlings of reality" said Napoleon Hill, the best selling author of "Think and Grow Rich". It is through the dreams that your thought process starts. Your thoughts creates your actions. Your actions create your destiny.

Lot of people come and ask me what is the first step to being financially independent, whether it is creating a Financial Freedom plan, or it is investing in real estate and stocks or it is something else that they are not aware of. I have a very simple answer for this question. The first step to anything worthwhile in life, including Financial Freedom, is a strong, solid Dream. If you dream day and night of achieving or doing something in life which a normal human being does not even think of and if you are having the right intent, then you are very close to the first step.

Why do i say that Dream is the first step towards achieving worthwhile goals in life? Because when you start on your journey towards your goal, there are very high chances that you will face tough situations, you will face conditions wherein you would feel that you should quit rather than pursuing that specific goal. These situations are very likely to come, in fact they are almost guaranteed to come. When such situations come, what will hold you on to your goal, what will hold you from quitting your goal and leading a "normal" life. It is only your Dream, provided you had made it strong and solid and given it enough power that it can hold you on in such testing times.

What do i mean by making a strong and solid Dream? The whole purpose of calling a Dream as strong and solid and not calling it just a Dream is to distinguish a Dream from a "Wish". All of us have wishes which will always stay as wishes till they are converted into strong and solid Dreams and then planned and executed well. How do you make a Dream strong and solid? You do it by thinking about it often enough, documenting it, picturing it,  and then having the faith in yourself that it is truly achievable within this lifetime.

Just the thought of Financial Freedom may not motivate you enough or may not be considered as a Dream. It may still be a wish. In fact, most of the people i talk to wish to be financially free but unfortunately a wish does not yield anything.  Dream is something that burns inside could be your dream to help needy, it could be your dream to plant trees, it could also be your dream to teach underprivileged children, to be a great orator or simply to be an expert guitar player..something that you are passionate about, something that gives you true happiness. You will need to spend enough time finding what your dream truly is. Once you have found that, then Financial Freedom is just a means or a milestone on the way to your dream.

Eight years back, a single thought from someone motivated me enough to start pursuing my dreams in life and on the way, achieve financial freedom as well.
Here it goes "When the dream is big enough, facts don't count !!"

The fact may be that you are not earning enough, the fact may be that you do not have time, the fact may be anything but if you have a strong and solid dream (big enough), rest everything does not count. You will always find a way out. So dream..dream..dream... Find your dream and make it strong enough that everything else looks small and achievable easily.

Once you have found your dream and made it strong enough, i would stay you have done the first step towards financial freedom. How much time does it take? I dont know.. It can happen in 1 minute or it may take a lifetime. It may not even happen in your lifetime, as is the case with more than 95% people around you. Lets see if you can complete the first step.

Happy Dreaming

Cheers !!

Manoj Arora

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

"Giving" through Financial Freedom - The only proven path to True Happiness

Someone rightly said once : :Life need not be longer but bigger !!

I tried and analyzed that in this fast paced life with cut throat competition all around, what can make life bigger as well as longer at the same time?

From the time we are born to the time we live on this planet, we can theoretically divide the entire life span into 3 phases.

First Phase of Life is what i call as the "Wanting" Phase. This is the phase of life which is dominated by the feeling of "wanting" things, whether love or anything else that the world has to offer. For a typical human, this span lasts from 0 to 25 years or so. Starting form the childhood days till we have our own children, we are dominated by the wanting feeling. We want good friends, we want to play all the time, we want to buy or somehow get all the good things that we see around us, we want a good school, a good college, a good girl friend or a boyfriend, a good wife or husband, and then we want to have our own children... and it goes on. Does it mean that we stop "wanting" things after this phase of life? No, we never stop wanting.  But the dominance of this feeling typically goes down after this stage of life. When we "want" things and we get them, it gives us temporary happiness. It is just like the happiness a young one gets once he or she gets a new toy and soon the same toy becomes his reason for sorrow when it is either broken, stolen or lost. You might remember the happiness you got when you bought a new car that you wanted badly, and within a few months (or may be a year), you thought that some other more advanced car would give you more happiness.

The second phase is what i call as the "Becoming" phase.That is when you want to grow in your career or you want to expand your business and want your own company to "become" one of the biggest in its field. Typically from mid 20s till just before the retirement age, you either want to become something big in your organization or you want your own company to become a unique one in the world. That does not mean that you do not "want" things anymore in this phase of life but "becoming" definitely takes priority over "wanting". Some of you may relate to me when we long for "becoming" a senior manager from a manager or to get promoted to the next level relative to our peers. Nothing wrong with this. But did that promotion give us true happiness. It again gave us temporary happiness. We were happy and excited on the new promotion only till we got the congratulatory notes from our peers and friends. A day after that, the stress in the higher role started taking its toll over us. Sometimes, we look back to our career, how happy we were while we were in a junior role.

The third phase is the most critical phase of life from true happiness perspective. I call this as the "Giving" Phase. Typically, we see lot of people post retirement getting more inclined towards helping people and giving whatever bit of their life and money they have been left with. They also start realizing in this phase that they are not going to carry anything with them, so it is better to start giving. And do they need to search the takers ? The world is full of needy. If you feel you cant find one, open any newspaper or news channel and within 10 minutes, you will surely know where the needy are. This phase of "giving" is the only phase out of the three phases which gives you permanent happiness. The smile you bring on someone else' face either by giving money, by giving love or by giving your service brings that permanent feeling of happiness in you.

Though i attributed a few range of years to each phase, there is obviously no rule which governs this. It is upto each individual to decide when he or she wants to move from one phase to another. Some do not touch the 3rd phase ever and spend most of their lives in the first 2 phases only. There is no scarcity of examples in this area. Some reach the 3rd phase at a very young age whether you talk about Mother Teresa or any other great saint. There are more modern examples who have a balanced approach in all 3 phases of life. I can immediately remember people like Bill Gates, Azim Premji, Bill Clinton or other modern stalwarts who, now, after crossing the 2nd phase have started contributing to this society and the world immensely. This is what is giving them true happiness today.

So, it is up to you to decide when you want to shift gears from one phase to another but at least you know what will give you true happiness !! It becomes all the more easier to shift gears to the 3rd phase if you have attained financial freedom in your life. Financial Freedom is not an end by itself but could definitely be a means to achieve true happiness through "Giving". Not only Giving makes us live "bigger", the stress free lifestyle and internal true happiness makes us live longer as well !!

Live longer and bigger !!

Manoj Arora

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Dont be Frog in the Pan

While i was watching Satyamev jayate this Sunday on Television, i heard the host saying a very interesting story.

There was an experiment done by the scientists with a Frog. A live Frog was kept on one side. On the other side, there was a pan with boiling hot water. The Frog was taken and dipped in the pan with the boiling hot water. Guess what happened..The Frog immediately realized that it needs to do something, else it will not be able to survive in the pan's environment. It immediately jumped out of the pan.

However, the story does not end here. Now the next experiment was undertaken. The Frog was kept in another pan with the water in the pan being at room temperature. The Frog started enjoying being in this pan. It went on like this for about 30 min till the frog was extremely comfortable in the pan. Now the temperature of the water was increased very gradually. Though the Frog felt a little uncomfortable with the slowly rising temperature, it just could not gather enough courage or wisdom to come out of the pan. It made some half attempts also to come out but they were never like the big jump it made from a boiling pan. This went on for some time, till the frog eventually died within the pan because of the intolerable high temperature, never being able to take a decision to jump out of the pan.

We are all Frogs in this Rat Race (Pan), never being able to gather enough courage or wisdom to take a decision to come out of this race. Many of us, like that Frog, keep talking and thinking about taking that decision but never realize what we are losing while so many others are in such comfort zone that it is even painful to think that they can ever be financially free. A vast majority us have even stopped thinking about this aspect and do not even believe that such a freedom is ever possible in this lifetime. When i talk to my colleagues around my office and around my neighborhood, there are so many reasons that everyone has as to why this freedom cannot be achieved or is not meaningful enough. The whole point is that you got to act before it is too late and the temperature in the pan becomes intolerable.

I am here to tell you that it is possible to achieve financial freedom for you or for anyone who makes a commitment to go ahead and achieve the same. It is not tough. It needs planning, discipline and enough time to bear its results. Does it take ages? No, just 5-8 years. Does it need special skills? No. Does it need huge income? No. But you got to take the first step.

I would encourage each one of you not to be the frog in the pan and take a decision to come out of this pan before the time runs out for you. Time is not far when life will stare at you and ask a blunt question : What meaningful you achieved in this life time?. Lot of my friends also ask me that money is not everything. Yes, it is not everything but is a means to achieve so many things. Is Financial Freedom the end goal? No. It is a means to achieve what you really wanted to do as a human being but never ever enjoyed the freedom to do so.

Keep watching this blog and i can tell you step by step how to come out of this pan. I have done it myself and i know each step of it. The only issue is that my writings will make sense to you only if you have a strong reason to come out of this pan (your dream) and you are ready to sacrifice the comfort zone that you are in today to achieve something meaningful in life. I also know that only 1% population in this world will understand this and have enough courage to reach the end.

Take a decision, take the first step and rest all can be planned and executed.

Cheers !!

Manoj Arora

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Do I need Freedom when life is going on just fine?

It was one of the typical chilly days in January month of the year. I was in US with my family. We were just about at dinner time when suddenly there is a family decision (typically family decisions means decisions taken by my wife and 2 lovely daughters) to go out to the Indian store about 3 miles from our house. Well, i did not get enough time or opportunity to repel against this decision and unwillingly, my hands automatically moved towards my car keys.

As we went along the small and beautiful drive from our house to the Indian Store, we saw shopping complexes and street shops on both sides of the road. This was Bentonville, a small laid back town in Arkansas state of USA. This was one place where we found lot of peace and relaxation after coming here from the neck breaking pace of a city like Delhi. Going to the India store in Bentonville was a weekly routine and it took us 5 to 7 minutes to reach there.

As we entered the store and got hold of our grocery trolley, kids had their routine fight on who will push the trolley and who will pick the grocery items from the store. While all this was going on, i suddenly happen to locate one of my office colleagues who looks stressed and drained out. He is done with his grocery collection from the store and is about to leave when we see each other face to face. Looking at his unusually stressed face, i am obviously curious to know if things are fine at his end. I end my curiosity by asking him about his well being.

Not wasting any time, he says "No, things are not fine". I go on to inquire further and he discloses some seriously disturbing facts. His father has been detected with a rare cancer in the last stage and the chances of his survival are not beyond a few months. Well, that would be a shocker of a news for anyone, especially if it is a sudden discovery. He goes on to say that his mother is also not keeping well and that he might have to travel back to India with his family soon.

His family (wife and kid) had just joined him in US. We had met together as families just a few weeks back. They are a beautiful couple and have an adorable 3 year old daughter. Moving the entire family back to India withing few months of settling in US in itself is quite a challenging move. But, in any case, these things dwarf out in front of the challenging family situation that stands tall in front of him.

The emotional setback apart, there is another thing that concerns this colleague and friend of mine. And that is obviously, the financial angle to the entire situation. He has got to fight for his fathers survival as long as he can, and this fight does not require any emotional moves. This requires "lots" of money. Chemo treatment, special medicines, doctors and hospital expenses, injections, movement of families from one country to another, unsettling and settling houses in each country etc etc. Health Insurance covers have an upper limit which easily gets crossed in such tricky situations. Going back to India would also mean that his income also goes down. His mind is majorly occupied thinking of all options to arrange for finances from somewhere so that he can look after his family in this time of crisis and provide the best possible medical treatment to his father.

Though he never expressed his financial need directly to me (we are close as families, i still happen to be his supervisor in office), it was coming out very obvious from his body language. Financial stress can be equally painful and disturbing, if not more, when compared to emotional stress that a person faces at such a stage of his or her life.

This is it !! This is THE point in life where you start valuing your Freedom (Financial). This is where you can take out your trump card. This is the point where you realize that financial freedom can be such a blessing in your life. It did not take me more than a split second to assure him that he can forget about all his financial worries and should focus on being with his family in India in this time of need. Could i have said this to anyone 5 years back..NO !!

Talking anything about whether he took any financial help from me or not would be completely missing the point here. The gush of bliss and satisfaction that i got after seeing his assured face in itself was so rewarding. How could i do that ? Why couldn't anyone else give him the same assurance as i gave. Not that anyone else was not willing or did not want to. It is just that everyone is so involved in the never ending struggle of their own lives that there is hardly and time and money left to give to someone else. This is one of those incidents which further strengthened my goal of financial freedom and made me believe that i am on the right path. This made me believe that i must not stay in mediocrity and must continue to find my way to freedom. This was reason enough for me to go through whatever pain is needed to be financially free.

So many of us are so comfortable in the situation where we are today. We are earning enough (or so we feel). We fail to come out of the comfort zone and achieve something of true significance in our lives. Rat Race becomes a part of life and Financial Freedom a mere wish.

Wake up ladies and gentlemen, there is a way to move to the other side. There is a way to move From Rat Race to Financial Freedom. You would never know when you would need it. If not you, someone close to you definitely needs it and you owe it to them.

Cheers !!

Manoj Arora

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Monday, July 23, 2012

How much time does it take to be financially free

During my recent interaction with some of my friends who are following my blogs, i realized that one of the top apprehensions in the mind of these Financial Freedom seekers is that they can never imagine themselves accumulating the corpus that is needed to get financially free.[Refer to the post -We are all so different... Know your own Corpus Amount ]
As per them, this amount is too big to be accumulated. Well, i do not blame them at all. First reaction can very well be of hopelessness.

Yes, the target Corpus amount definitely seems big relative to the current corpus that anyone may have. But in all such cases, my friends do not still seem to have realized the amazing power that compounding has. If they allow Compounding to work in combination with Time, it is never a linear extrapolation of your savings. Those who have studied mathematical and geometric progressions would quickly understand that Compounding is an exponential extrapolation. This, in simple terms, means that what they can accumulate in 10 years - the same amount can be accumulated in just one more year, if they allow it to grow. Refer to another post that was published just a few days before ie What hell will break loose by the "Amazing Power of Compounding"

Let us assume for a moment that they come to truly understand the power of Compounding and Time (though most always feel that they understand it). The biggest question that people have after this is how much time will it take for them to achieve that Corpus amount. While that is simple to calculate with reasonable accuracy, my personal experience has been that if you start from scratch (Zero Corpus), it takes anywhere between 5 - 8 years for anyone (yes, anyone) to get financially free.Well, if you start with some initial amount, the time duration obviously goes down. Beware that the assumption is that you would continue with the same lifestyle as you are having today (and would not suddenly want to shift to a different luxury zone, knowing now that you are financially free !!)

Does this time period depend upon your income? This is the next standard question i often get. But the answer to this surprises most people. The answer to this question is a clear"No". It does not matter at all how much you earn. What matters is how much you save and invest, rather than how much you earn. What matters is how much of time and compounding you are able to leverage. What matters is whether you have the fundamental understanding about money and money management. What matters is whether you can sustain the discipline needed to invest and manage money wisely. Someone earning twice the amount as I am, may never be able to get financially free in his or her whole life while i got financially free in 8 years time starting from scratch.

So, go on and get started. Calculate your corpus and get going. Time is the biggest factor to multiply your money. Every day you delay starting in your goal, you are diluting the power of compounding.....

From Rat Race to Financial Freedom provides you with a step by step guide starting from calculating your corpus and time duration needed to creating your monthly goals and also provides great free downloadable templates to track your goals.

Get ready as the book gets ready for a launch in less than 2 months from now..

Happy Starting !!

Cheers !!

Manoj Arora

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Saturday, July 21, 2012

We are all so different...Know your Own Corpus amount

We are all so different...Know your Own Corpus Amount

  Every human being is different. Every family is different. Each individual's earning potential and spending habits are different. Success to everyone is likely to look different. We stay in different cities, states, countries, regions and also varying economic conditions. The way each one of us invest is different. The way we utilize the returns on our investment are different. There will always be something "unique" to each individual's economy.

Well, with so many differences, do you think there can be one single magic number for the "minimum Corpus" you need for financial freedom? The answer is very obvious....Absolutely NO. It has to be different and very unique for each and every person who wants to get financially free. It has to be very very specific to the person's earning and spending habits, cost of living, individual and family behavior, economic environment in which the person is staying...even to the extent of attitude and discipline that the specific person possesses.

Let me first try and explain you what this minimum "Corpus" is and why is this important for Financial Freedom. Literally, "Corpus" in English dictionary means a "large collection". In economic or financial terms, the word "Corpus" is generally referred to as that minimum collected amount of money that an individual needs to be financially free. To elaborate this further, what it means is that if i collect that "Corpus" money, then i have crossed a threshold value and from then on, i do not need to "earn" any more money (though i may still willingly continue to do so). The Corpus becomes "self financing and self reliant" to fund itself, fund your and your family's lifestyle, negate inflation and continue to do so till you survive on this planet.

 We are all running after money. I don't say that is bad at all. We all need money. In fact, one of my earlier blogs this month was titled "Yes, Money can buy Happiness". It surely can, because money is not bad at all. So, we all need to earn money. We all need to maximize our earnings without creating an imbalance in our lives. But hold on, take a step back... what is my target? How much money do i want to earn? what is that Corpus amount that will be enough? Is it endless? Does it keep changing with time? If not, then can it be calculated? Yes, of course it can be calculated to a reasonable degree of accuracy, based on certain fundamental inputs.

And here is the biggest irony of all so called "smart money earners" in our generation. Of all the people i have met in 40 years of my life, i have never met a single individual who knows what Corpus he or she is targeting? If we do not have a target and we keep running, what happens? We are very likely to get exhausted soon with no goal to reach. One of my earlier blogs also talked about "The Power of Goals" and another one about "Hope". So, before you run another day, try and see if you can have a Goal in mind. You will feel better and more satisfied with yourself and your life.

Let us now come to the process of Corpus calculation. Is is SIMPLE.
Here are the 4 essential inputs that you need illustrated through an example.
1) Family Monthly Expenses as on date (if you are not tracking it, better start doing !!) (Lets assume it is Rs. 50000)
2) Average Inflation Rate (Lets assume it is 7%)
3) How many more years would you live in best case (Lets assume it is 60 years - I am already 40 and i target to hit 100 !! :)
4) Annual Rate of Return on your investments (again, i am so sorry if you do not know what you are getting back on your investments !! - better start doing) (Lets say it is 11% - wont happen if you are not investing in stocks or real estate)

With all the above assumptions, you would need a corpus amount of Rs. 15,500,000 for the corpus to be self financing. Well, of course if you cant manage the rate of return of 11% or the inflation goes up beyond 7% or if you survive beyond 100 years, this corpus amount goes up. In the same fashion, the corpus amount similarly can come down as well. No one can predict it with 100% accuracy, but this amount reflects reasonable accuracy of the target money you should be going for.

The "Corpus Amount Calculator" would be available for free download to all my book readers (From Rat Race to Financial Freedom) from my website that would be launched with the book.

If you have any queries on your individual Corpus amount, you can let me know your 4 essential inputs and i can try and respond to a few of you with what amount you should be targeting. Once you have a target, you can divide it into shorter goals and milestones to achieve the target. Life becomes all the more meaningful with such goals to look forward to, instead of endlessly running in this Rat Race.

So, go ahead, and have a target money in mind...and go all out to achieve that money target !!

Happy Earning !!

Cheers !!

Manoj Arora

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Friday, July 20, 2012

What hell will break loose by the "Amazing Power of Compounding"

"Time is the most powerful element". No other mathematical formula proves it better than the formula to calculate the Compound interest.

Each one of us have studied "Simple Interest" and "Compound Interest" as a part of our mathematics education in our primary schools. Most of you understood the formula, though there must have been  many like me, who mugged them up. We also might have also scored 100% marks in the questions related to these topics. We also knew (and still remember) that Simple interest was about getting interest on the principal amount while Compound Interest talks about giving interest on the Principal as well as the interest.

Fundamentally, that is it about Compound Interest. It is so simple. So, what am i trying to prove with this article.? I am trying to shake you up and trying to help you realize the immense power that lies behind the simplicity of these definitions and formulae.

Most of us think that what big difference does it make. I mean, if i am earning a meagre interest on the Principal (via Simple Interest), what hell will break lose if i earn a fraction more interest on the interest (Compounded Interest). I mean, it does not have any major impact on my life...may be i can afford one extra ice cream with that. Though anything "extra" is welcome in life, well, most of the times it may not be worth paying that extra effort. It is just "some extra money".

That is exactly where we all missed the point. That is where all the hell broke loose. That is where the "Time" played its magic and we were not even aware of the same.. Let me ask you a very simple question. I give you a normal sheet of paper (lest say roughly 0.1mm thick)paper and ask you to fold the paper once. Now, i ask you fold it once again all over. Remember, it is becoming thicker as you are folding. OK, hold on, before you lose patience, just try and judge the thickness of this sheet if you were able to successfully fold it just 50 times. Well, let me tell you.... the paper will become so thick that the thickness would cover the distance from the earth to the moon. Cant believe it? I also did not believe it in the beginning but you can do the is very simple to calculate. It is the power of compounding - remember - you did not take out any of the thickness when doubling the next fold (that is earning interest on interest)... and do you want to know what "Time" did. If you did just one more fold - just one more - you new thickness can take you back to earth as well. What you achieved in the first 50 folds was achieved in the last "1" fold.

Is the hell breaking lose now? It really breaks lose if you let the same concept apply on your money.

You have literally no idea what magic can happen to your wealth if you allow time and power of compounding to work together in an undisturbed manner (don't touch your money or its interest while it is compounding to realize its amazing power)

So, we all studied the definitions of simple and compound interest, mastered it but never realized the potential it has when applied to your own money. It is the single most important cog in the wheel if you are looking to achieve Financial Freedom in life. Just one extra year of compounding can separate a millionaire from a billionaire. It is that powerful !!

As you would go through my book (From Rat Race to Financial Freedom), you would find various ways to utilize the power of compounding to your advantage on your journey to your own personal financial freedom.

Happy Compounding !!

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Come out of slavery...Fight for your personal financial freedom

Financial Freedom.. a set of words as commonly used as these are misunderstood.

It is important to lay more emphasis on the word "freedom" first. So, if i ask you whether Freedom is important or not, well, we all know the default answer. Of-course it is important. Millions and millions across the globe have died for freedom of their country. It is "that" important. Well, you may be asking what a country's freedom has to do with Financial Freedom. I would say that financial Freedom is equally important, if not more.

While the freedom to our nation gives us the right to decide who governs us, gives us the right to take decisions in the overall interest of our country, Financial Freedom does the same thing when applied to one's own self... it gives us the right to decide who governs me - my job, my boss or myself. It gives us the right to take decisions as to what is more important for me, my family, my society rather than what is more important for my promotion next year. It gives me that freedom to make decisions and to do things i really wish i should have done in my life, things i really cherish doing..things that i truly enjoy doing...

This blog would post articles on a regular basis on some of the finer aspects of financial freedom as i get ready to launch my book in late September this year. Do let me know your suggestions and ideas. This book (as well as the achievement of financial freedom) was not only a dream for me but also i want to open the doors for some of you who are trapped in a rat race, but not knowing how to come out of it and lead a financially free life.

Trust me, its an amazing experience to be financially free !!

Feel free to invite your friends and let us debate and discuss openly on this very important aspect of our lives.

Have Hope.. and Dare to Dream !!

   When i was a child, I once heard a story of an experiment done with 2 mice... one enclosed in a black box and the other one enclosed in a similar black box but with just one change...the second box had a small hole for the light to enter. The mouse in first box survived for approx 2 days without food while the mouse in the second box survived for more than 5 days...!!

What made the difference... it was a very logical and a simple conclusion...the second mouse could always see some hope for freedom !!
This is what HOPE can do for you. Do not ever lose it. Have hope..have faith..things can change, things will change... "impossible" can be achieved... and can be achieved faster than what you think today !!

Along with hope, i am here to tell you that you must learn to Dream...and dream big !! The things that you dream of, have the potential to give you "true happiness", and if any of you are in the search of "true happiness", make sure that you have the inner strength to overcome all obstacles that come in the way of your dreams. Wake up and dream and then go and chase your dreams...."Dare to Dream".

I found that Financial Freedom is not a difficult goal to accomplish if you do not lose Hope and continue to have the belief that it can be achieved. Power it with your Dreams and there you go on the way...

Most if you have dreams, and i know that for a majority of us, this day to day rat-race is the only major hindrance in the fulfillment of those dreams. Financial Freedom can help you come out of this race....i can show you how...
Of course, it will not be easy..but will definitely be worth it !! for the ultimate result of moving "From Rat Race to Financial Freedom" is nothing less than fulfillment of your long cherished dreams !!


Monday, July 16, 2012

The Power of Your Goals

The Power of Your Goals

One of the rudimentary laws that we were taught in IT industry while managing projects is as simple as "Plan your work and Work your Plan". While many of us successfully implement it in our projects and professional career, most of us fail to do the same with our own lives.

A study reveals that more than 85% of people fail to plan their lives or fail to have any set of achievable and documented goals with set target date. Out of the remaining minority, only 2% of them understand the true power that goals possess and hence almost 98% of us do not have the persistence to stick to them when the going gets tough and the goals "seem" to be "unachievable" at some stage or the other.

When a space shuttle is launched, 85% of the rocket fuel is consumed to cover just 10% of the target height... and the rest 15% of the fuel takes it through to the destination and back. This directly relates to the power that a goal possesses. Those who understand the immense power of goals and persist with them in spite of all obstacles do have the pleasure of seeing the results of goals being met.

The good is never too late..

Lets go step by step:

First step is to have your "life goals" ready with you.. it could be in the form of 100 things you want to do before you die, or your dream diary or in any other form or shape....but just make sure that you do not lead a goalless life being driven by the circumstances rather than driving them. This step takes the maximum time. Make them SMART.

Second step is to make a step by step monthly plan to achieve those goals.

and the Third step(which also happens to be the easiest of them all) is to go and execute to the plan.

The book (From Rat Race to Financial Freedom) will show you exactly this to dream, how to set goals and then how to go and execute them. If your dream is strong enough, facts do not count !! If you have the right intent, God will always show you the way and you will know how to achieve your goals. You will realize the immense power hidden in your goals.. when you persist with them !!

Go...plan your one knows whether we will get another chance to achieve something of significance !!

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Friday, July 13, 2012

Yes, Money can buy happiness :)

Last week, one of my Facebook friends (and my old time colleague in TCS) raised an interesting question on the FB poll that we were conducting. This question has been so often repeated in the Indian context of upbringing :
"Can money buy you happiness ??"
So, i thought of expressing my views to all my friends and why not start a discussion on this topic.

Like most of you, I have been brought up in a culture where traditionally money has been considered a "not so good" thing, if not bad.
It has been linked with most evils in the society today - whether it is crime, poor health or even the collapse of our own moral values. However, there is a different way to look at the entire situation.

Money, by itself, is a dead element - which cannot be either good or bad....let me give you a few examples - tell me whether a knife is good or bad, whether nuclear energy is good or bad. Most of us will have different opinions depending on how we look at all these dead elements. Knife can be used as our best friend in kitchen and can also be used to kill someone. Nuclear energy can supply electricity to millions or can destroy millions. Same applies to money. Money can be considered to be the reason for all evils in the society today or can also help in bringing millions of poor out of the poverty line. It depends on how we use it.

Knife is not bad, it is the intent of the person holding the knife that can be bad. Nuclear Energy is not bad - it is the intent of the country holding the energy that can be bad. Money is not bad, it is the intent of the person possessing this money that can be bad.

Financial Freedom allows me to have the money and then use it with the right serve and help the millions who are suffering. How would you feed anyone else if your own plate is empty. Fill up your plate and fill it up a little more and then let it overflow to feed the millions starving across the world. The happiness that follows is unimaginable !!
Money can surely buy you happiness.

Get financially free to have a meaningful life !!

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

As the countdown starts for the launch of much awaited book "From Rat Race to Fniancial Freedom", please follow me on Facebook at the following page:

The latest status update on the Facebook page talks about the importance of Having Strong Dreams and never losing Hope to accomplish great things in life !!

Here is a recap:

Have Hope.. and Dare to Dream !!

When i was a child, I once heard a story of an experiment done with 2 mice... one enclosed in a black box and the other one enclosed in a similar black box but with just one change...the second box had a small hole for the light to enter. The mouse in first box survived for approx 2 days without food while the mouse in the second box survived for more than 5 days...!!
What made the difference... it was a very logical and a simple conclusion...the second mouse could always see some hope for freedom !!
This is what HOPE can do for you. Do not ever lose it. Have hope..have faith..things can change, things will change... "impossible" can be achieved... and can be achieved faster than what you think today !!

Along with hope, i am here to tell you that you must learn to Dream...and dream big !! The things that you dream of, have the potential to give you "true happiness", and if any of you are in the search of "true happiness", make sure that you have the inner strength to overcome all obstacles that come in the way of your dreams. Wake up and dream and then go and chase your dreams...."Dare to Dream".

I found that Financial Freedom is not a difficult goal to accomplish if you do not lose Hope and continue to have the belief that it can be achieved. Power it with your Dreams and there you go on the way...

Most if you have dreams, and i know that for a majority of us, this day to day rat-race is the only major hindrance in the fulfillment of those dreams. Financial Freedom can help you come out of this race....i can show you how...
Of course, it will not be easy..but will definitely be worth it !! for the ultimate result of moving "From Rat Race to Financial Freedom" is nothing less than fulfillment of your long cherished dreams !!