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4 ways Discipline can help you live a Happy and Wealthy Life

BY TARYN ST.LOUIS, 18th NOVEMBER, 2020

Many of us can remember at least one point in our lives where we felt as though we were being told what to do. We were held accountable for our actions to the point where we felt like our freedoms were being infringed upon. For some of us, we would not have realized it because it had become the ‘norm’ for us. How about school, where we had to speak using only our ‘inside’ voices when interacting with our peers? We had to learn and recite specific words, sing specific songs at specific times during the day. We were made to assemble and not speak while being addressed. Do these thoughts stir up certain images in your mind? When we entered the world of work, we soon learned that this world was not much different. We had to arrive on time or our superiors would begin keeping a keen eye on us, watching out for another slip up. We had deadlines to meet and leaving the job at our own leisure would have given us a definite red card.

Can you think of any others? These scenarios all point to one word. We will explain the meaning of the word using the definition provided in the Merriam Webster dictionary: Discipline: 2. to train or develop by instruction and exercise especially in self-control.

Some of you would cringe at the very thought of the word discipline, but don’t get lost in a word. For many others, this same discipline has been the fuel that has propelled them toward abundance, both in their personal and professional lives:

Stronger Relationships

Discipline can be viewed as training to develop one’s moral character which in turn will help to produce a particular type of behavior. Relationships should help us become better versions of ourselves. Discipline comes in handy in our relationships because it is a practice of care and respect for others and self. Some of the evidence of discipline in relationships can be found in :

  • Consistency (something that men and women so desperately crave from their partners)
  • Fidelity (self-control)
  • and quality time (through proper time management)

Higher Net Worth

If you study any billionaire in the world, you will discover that they have the most powerful discipline habits. Discipline teaches us to be systematic when working toward life’s goals. With self-discipline, you master the power to follow through with your decisions. It is therefore one of the most important requirements for success. It has always been said that the secret to success lies in your daily routine. Without discipline, there can be no routine. We would all operate as chaff in the wind, moving in every direction but up! Sound Discipline is the key to:

  • Proper time management,
  • Accountability,
  • Personal growth and many other productive assets.

If you are chaotic, that means that you don’t have a schedule for the day, week, month and year. You basically don’t have a plan. Sooner or later, life will wear you out.

Discipline means that you will do what you know you have to do, even when you are not in the mood of doing it.” 

Healthier Body

This one is certainly a no-brainer. Most trainers have reported having an uphill climb when it comes to getting some of their clients to wake up on time and make it to the gym for their daily workout. This is actually why people hire trainers in the first place. They NEED someone to hold them accountable. Otherwise, they most likely wouldn’t stick to their workout routine and their body goals would never be achieved. The same holds for healthy foods. That slice of cake looks pretty tempting, but I have to stick to my diet, so salad it is! So many of us have had these same pitfalls and are still reeling from the consequences of our lack of discipline. So much can be achieved if we practice the things that we’ve already made up our minds to do:

  • Healthier sleeping patters (stick to a schedule!)
  • Healthier Food choices (say No to that last slice of pizza and mean it!)
  • Regular workout routines (don’t skip leg day!)

Healthier Mind and Spirit

Finally, and probably the most important benefit of all is a healthier mind. A healthy mind can only be maintained if all the previous points are achieved. Lack of discipline fosters laziness, low self-esteem, unachieved goals, broken relationships and unhealthy life patterns. None of these cater to a healthy mind or spirit, but self-discipline certainly does. It can give you:

  • Higher self esteem
  • Better vibration
  • More focus

Lack of discipline can leave a trail of chaos, anger and emptiness. We must therefore make it a priority to teach the younger generation to foster self-discipline within their daily lives. We do this by example. We also do this by giving them routines to follow. Reward their efforts, and show them that action and inaction both have consequences.

Freedom and discipline are directly proportional to each other. Freedom is the basic right to do what we want. The catch is, that if we want more freedom in our lives then it must be preceded by discipline.

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How To Break The Generational Curse of Poverty in 5 steps

“Change starts with us”. It’s a small phrase, but holds so much power when it comes to many facets of life. It’s even more powerful when we speak of breaking generational curses. But what are these ‘curses’ that we speak of? Do they refer to some type of “hoodoo voodoo” handed down upon us because of some long forgotten evil done by our ancestors? Is it something taboo? According to The Gospel Coalition, a “generational curse describes the cumulative effect on a person of things that their ancestors did, believed, or practiced in the past, and a consequence of an ancestor’s actions, beliefs, and sins being passed down.” An example of a generational curse is divorce”. This may all be true, but for our purposes here, let’s focus on actions and beliefs.

We see it over and over in every day life. The constant negative patterns in families that seem almost inescapable. They seem to imprison some or all members of the same blood line from the day they were conceived until the day they die. Drug addiction, failed marriages and relationships, abuse, mental illness and poverty are some of the major evils that have contaminated the lives of the families around us. For some of us, these are evident within our own families. Many might argue that poverty itself can cause a domino effect to most of the other social ills, so therein lies our focus.

Although slavery was abolished decades ago, in many black communities the effects of poverty are still very much evident. It is time to unlearn some of the negative beliefs and actions that may have become a part of us before we perpetuate them to the next generation. The steps below are not 100% failsafe, but they are certainly approved to set the pace for healing and renewal.

A. WITH THE HELP OF AN ELDER IN YOUR FAMILY, DRAW A GENOGRAM.
An example of a financial genogram

genogram (pronounced: jen-uh-gram) is a graphic representation of a family tree that displays detailed data on relationships among individuals. In the example shown above, the illustration focuses on the habits of each person in your family tree.

Here are some questions you may ask:

  • Were there any wealthy people in our family?
  • Were there any persons who were in continuous debt?
  • Who in our family got a divorce?
  • Who had several children they couldn’t take care of financially?
  • What type of jobs did everyone end up settling for?
  • Was there any history of a family feud/enmity in our family?

Once you have a list of questions, start by filling out the answers you know. There is not a right or wrong way to do this, so choose a method that makes the most sense for you. Once you’ve written down the information you already know, call your relatives to ask for answers to the remaining questions.

It isn’t necessary to speak with everyone on the tree, but talk to as many people as possible so you can better understand who they are and their behavior patterns. The more information you have, the more you’ll understand trends and generational curses that have impacted you.

2. TALK WITH YOUR LOVED ONES.

This may be one of the toughest things to do, but without communication, there can be no healing! There are some secrets so hidden within families that they’re inevitably taken to the grave, and the struggle continues. The only way to start the healing process is to lay the cards out on the table. Though the cards may be bitter, our children deserve to know what they may need to work on and what habits they need to unlearn. The keys to breaking generational curses reside in Truth. Without truth, there can be no change.

3. SEEK SUPPORT.

If there are secrets and habits within your family that need immediate attention, seek help! There has always been a stigma within the black community when it comes to counselling, but a counselor can help you process your thoughts and emotions in a healthy way and help you identify generational curses manifesting in your family. Thankfully, there are professionals available to fit every person, budget, and schedule. If you are religious, you can seek the help of a pastor. The right pastor can incorporate what is both divine and practical and organize an effective intervention for your family. Many of the answers we need are one consultation away, but fear of judgment has crippled many. It is this very fear that can end up keeping us in the same downward spiral throughout generations. If you find it impossible to overcome this fear of one on one counseling, there are many qualified online counselors to choose from.

4. EDUCATE.

Education can come in the form of periodical family meetings, talks over dinner or you can take the next step and talk to your children specifically about finances. If you are not sure that you are equipped enough to educate them, there are many online resources that can help you. We took the time to highlight a few exceptional publications that you can take advantage of:

These insightful and age appropriate finance books are just a few of the many volumes written by Dr. Boyce D. Watkins. He is is an American author, economist, political analyst, and social commentator. During his academic career, Boyce Watkins was a visiting scholar with the Barbara Jordan – Mickey Leland School Of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University.

As an adult, if you are excited to start this learning journey yourself, there are many audio books and paper backs to choose from. We recommend these for starters:

5. CELEBRATE!

The final step we recommend is that you celebrate! Celebrate those wins, no matter how small. As you transition away from the generational curse of poverty, do one small thing to celebrate your victory. You have now positioned yourself to break financial barriers within your own lineage. May your name be written in history as the one who broke the mold, and led your bloodline to generational wealth!

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