Archive for January 2015

Video of the Week: I Have a Plan for You

Click here to read more about God’s plan for you.

Career Development Using Online Education

by: Elle Wood

One of the biggest difficulties that is faced by people who are seeking career development is that it is difficult to find the time to balance career development with their everyday career responsibilities. Luckily, many career oriented people can now find time for career development using online education to further their career skills while working during the day. This makes the balance between your career and the development of further career skills much easier to strike up, because you can work when you need to, and go through career development courses through online education in your spare time. By making it possible to achieve career development using online education, career oriented people can now learn new career skills and further their career capabilities without causing their normal work to suffer. If you are serious about furthering your career, career development using online education is a wise path to take. Here is more information about the benefits of career development using online education as a foundation.

The purpose of career development using online education is to give you the training that you need over the internet in order to meet the needs of your career or a future career that you hope to become a part of in the future. Most career development services include full training and full testing for individuals that want to develop their careers into something more. Some of the skill sets that are covered when seeking career development using online education include safety skills and industrial based technologies, computers, internet and information technologies, management and leadership skills and small business operation skills, professional development and personal development, though there are many other skills that can be developed in the realm of career development using online education.

What makes the idea of career development using online education so useful is that career oriented people can develop their careers outside of work and do not need to sacrifice time or focus at work to gain new career skills. Rather than having to leave your job to seek a new skill set, you can develop the career skill set that you need over the internet, in the comfort of your own home and best of all, on your own personal schedule, which means that you can work days and study at night, or work nights and study during the day, and everything is on your own time and at your own convenience, which means that you will be able to benefit exponentially from what the career development courses and training have to offer you.

Sometimes career development using online classes means visiting a specific public computer lab, while other times it simply means logging in from home. Different programs have different requirements, but the same focus is always there: Career development using online classes is designed to let people further their careers by developing new career skill sets over the internet, which is one of the best ways to create job security, especially in these uncertain economic times.

About The Author

Elle Wood alerts you to businesses and organizations that offer exemplary services and value. Find out more about Pass Christian University Online Education Programs and how it best serves education seekers wanting to continue to learn for Career Development by visiting http://www.pcu.edu.

Photo of the Week: Financial Well-Being

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African Americans: A Look in the Mirror, Part 2

by: Bret Searles

“For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.” James 1:23-24

The black community has many success stories. Condoleeza Rice, PhD is the National Security Advisor and Colin Powell is the Secretary of State to the current U.S. president. Thurgood Marshall was a judicial giant on the U.S. Supreme Court fighting for greater liberty and against injustice. Bob Johnson, founder and former CEO of Black Entertainment Television and Oprah Winfrey, television talk show host, producer and CEO of Harpo Productions have been bright and shining examples of what African Americans are capable of achieving.

Not everyone can do what these people did but we can look to their example of perseverance and triumph against long odds. Some of the greatest role models overcame abject poverty, racism, child abuse and neglect. They had excess baggage they had to shed to get to their respective goals. The book, The 7 Simple Secrets to Building Wealth: An African American’s Guide to Wealth Building in the 21st Century and Beyond, will give you some strategies you can use immediately to more elegantly overcome your personal challenges and confidently reach your goals.

On the other hand, the statistics show that our success stories are far outnumbered by the cold reality that our people are in a struggle for survival. We have a growing middle class of African Americans that are becoming increasingly separated from the rest of black America based on education, income stability and family life. As some African Americans push ahead, many are falling further behind creating an inequity between the two.

Only 13.6% of African Americans reported an annual income over $50,000 according to recent census data. That compares to 27.5% of whites reporting annual income over $50,000. We have only half the percentage of high income earners then whites do. We have twice the high school drop out rate as whites. Also, 16.5% of African Americans get a college degree versus 28.1% of whites. 32.5% of African Americans are married compared to 56.8% of whites. Finally, 44% of African American families are headed by single moms compared to only 12.7% of white families that are headed by single moms. We have an amazingly uphill battle but we must look even more closely before we can get to our solutions.

African Americans make up 13% of the population while African American men make up 66% of the prison population. Based on Justice Department crime statistics, racial differences exist, with African Americans disproportionately represented among homicide victims and offenders. African Americans have the highest violent crime victimization rates then any other group. We are six times more likely then whites to be murdered. We are seven times more likely then whites to commit homicide. And the majority of murders are intraracial. African Americans killed a whopping 94% of African American murder victims.

Furthermore, the Justice Department goes to report that based on current rates of first incarceration, an estimated 32% of African American males will enter state or federal prison during their lifetime; whites (5.9%). These are depressing figures.

The family is the place where these statistics will be turned around. Respect for life, discipline, hard work and respect for women are lessons and values that young Black boys learn best from their dads. They learn from our words, our example and through the leadership we provide in the home.

If we fail in this, our greatest responsibility, we will fail an entire generation that fought to secure our freedoms so we could realize our full potential. We will put on the chains of the slavery of poverty, prison and lack of purpose without a whimper of resistance.

The second preliminary step we need to make is taking personal responsibility for our lives and that of our families. The only way we can begin to shape the future and change our destinies is to accept our present circumstances as a fluid and temporal reality that can be changed and is never permanent however, very real, so we must take action to affect our reality.

We sometimes live as if our situation was imposed on us against our will and that we are powerless to resist. Years of conditioning make it understandable why some feel that way. The challenge is recognizing that these challenging situations and problems are truly temporary and changeable. We also want to experience the good times with greater intensity and more lasting effect. This book will provide you with strategies to do all this and will help you to view your circumstances in whatever way serves you most in getting you to your desired goals.

You’ll find that we don’t need a new leader to lead us; what we need are new leadership skills. We need an infusion of leadership at all levels in the black community and our nation needs it as well. We need African American leaders in every corner of our nation. We need African American leaders in both the Democrat and Republican parties. We need African American leaders in business and government. We need more leaders in the family and in the community.

African Americans must adopt new ideas and new thought patterns that our ancestors didn’t have the luxury to adopt in order to advance in the new economy. With all the sad statistics mentioned here, we are still standing here today at this time in history. Our country has needed us on many occasions. Even oppressed, African Americans helped build this country, fight its wars and turn the tide to victory from defeat.

God has a plan for America and we are an integral part of His plan for this country. More people are free around the world today because of this nation and our struggle is an example to many of the oppressed in the world of what a united, determined people can achieve.

Entrepreneurship is the key to unlocking the last chains to keep us from living out our true purpose and to become who we really are as a people. This generation of African Americans needs to tap into the power of entrepreneurship to create the kind of wealth that will truly set us free. We need to develop the required skill sets necessary for success as leaders in 21st century business. These skills truly are timeless and have been used throughout time by the captains of industry.

These skills were surely mastered by the ancient Egyptians when they built an advanced civilization and the great pyramids that cannot be replicated by any of the engineers and architects of this age. In this age, these skills are now more necessary then ever. The social experiment of communism has failed. Government cannot solve all the problems that ail people. There is no reason we should fall prey to the temptation to seek solutions to our problems from our government. Our government is extraordinarily wealthy and so is our society. The rewards go to those that provide the most service with the most value in our society. No law, regulation or tax has been able to change that. Now that our economy is switching from an industrial age economy to an information age economy, all the old rules are quickly becoming obsolete.

Failure of African Americans to adapt to this shift is economic suicide especially at a time when it’s never been easier to start a business, turn a profit and live free. Knowledge and application of the necessary skills in your entrepreneurial enterprise or at work will tilt the odds of financial security and lasting wealth in your favor despite your current station in life today.

The statistics presented show us how much work we have to do. We have always had leaders stand up at our point of greatest need throughout history. The statistics can’t tell you who they are, where they will come from or what the leaders of the 21st century will be able to accomplish but with history as our guide, we can count on it that they will change this world for the better. The only question I have for you is “Are you that leader?”

About The Author
This article is an excerpt from the downloadable ebook by Bret Searles titled “The 7 Simple Secrets to Wealth Building: An African American’s Guide to Wealth Building in the 21st Century and Beyond” available at www.blackwealthnow.com

bret@blackwealthnow.com

Video of the Week: I Love My President!

I was in attendance for the first inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States, which took place on Tuesday, January 20, 2009. What a historic moment in his life and the lives of many people! I will never forget being there to witness history. I was pleased with his performance, and I admire his leadership style!

Like many others, I did not agree with all of his decisions. However, he deserved another chance to complete his mission. Miraculously, President Obama was re-elected for a second term! Click here to read more about his 2nd inauguration, which coincided with the Dr. King holiday. Despite the election and re-election of President Obama, the killings of unarmed people of color let us know that we still have a long way to go!

Photo of the Week: Dr. King Made a Difference!

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Click here to read more on Dr. King’s legacy.

Relaxation – The key to healthy life

by: Nitin Jain

Physical exercise complemented by a healthy diet may still leave you bereft of a truly fit body if you dont relax enough. Relaxation releases ‘feel good’ hormones in our body. They help us reduce free radical effect, which means it slows down the ageing process, reducing the PMS syndrome, speeds up recovery of post-operative healing, increases our lung power… the list is endless.

Result shows that just 15 minutes of daily relaxation can aid in the complete avoidance of blood pressure tablets. No amount of exercising and dieting alone can ensure that. Diet and exercise reduce stress levels, but they cannot wholly account for our emotional thought patterns. And thse negative emotions that are mainly accountable for many psychosomatic diseases.

Evidently, pumping iron till your arms ache and dieting diligently will be futile minus relaxation. Relaxation is a must in our daily life. It alone can strengthen our immune system. Right from gardening to playing chess to practising simple mental exercises, anything can be relaxing. The choice and onus both lie with the person.

Research studies have documented positive changes in the blood flow, neurochemistry as well as neurophysiology of the brain when one is relaxed. The blood flow to the brain is increased to those regions of the brain that are associated with feelings of being calm. So, to ensure the complete health quotient, one needs relaxation as much as one needs physical exercise and a proper diet.

TOP TEN RELAXATION TIPS

1. Do what you love daily, like listening to your favorite music.

2. Devote time to a hobby.

3. Look at some old photographs of an occasion that was full of fun.

4. Be with nature any time of the day.

5. Establish contact with old friends.

6. In the afternoon, take a 20-minute nap.

7. Sit on a chair with your feet touching the floor and your back upright. Focus on anything or any sound for three minutes.

8. Once back from office, as you step into your home, just sit for 10-15 minutes doing nothing. You may switch on the television or listen to some music if you so prefer.

9. Breathe deeply while listening to your favorite music.

10. Press under the big toe and the arch of your foot.

About The Author
For www.vitaminsdiary.com.
Your complete guide to buying vitamins online – http://www.vitaminsdiary.com/buy-vitamins.htm

Video of the Week: How to Deal with Disappointment

Click here to read more on dealing with disappointment.

Photo of the Week: Financial Wellness Month

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Click here to read more about Financial Wellness Month.

The Four Golden Rules Of Personal Finance

by: Francis Kier

Many successful people have mentors to guide them in learning the skills that lead to achievement, and I’ll do my best to offer you some critical personal finance perspectives. They say that life is a school where you learn the lesson after the test. The same thing applies to money, but you can’t go back in time to fix catastrophic financial mistakes that you have made over time. As long as you are alive, you are a player on the field of the money-game, and you need to know the basic rules before you get tagged by the experienced players.

Rule #1: To earn money from money. The only way to escape becoming a wage slave for the rest of your life is to set aside savings. The profit on your savings can be used to increase your lifestyle spending, reduce the number of years until you retire, or allow you to actually have any retirement at all. How are you doing so far toward saving and getting it to earn money for you?

Every dollar that you spend eliminates its ability to earn money for you in the future. I am not recommending that you stop eating at restaurants and going to movies, I am recommending that you use some common sense, like looking at your four biggest expenses over the last few months and aggressively finding a way to reduce them.

The biggest obstacle for the first rule is personal debt of any kind (other than a mortgage for your home) or a lease of any kind. Every personal debt that you incur reduces your net worth which could have been working for you over your life time. Acquiring personal debt is exactly like putting a large hole in your wallet. In the money-game, a huge transfer of wealth occurs between the “Haves” and the “Have-Nots” over the words, “I can afford that monthly payment.” Here is a hint: the “Have-Nots” are the ones who make that statement. So please don’t ever look at whether you can afford a monthly payment to make a purchase; pay in cash after you’ve saved for the item. [Everything that you buy with a 0%-interest payment plan must be over-priced. Behind the scenes, your payment contract is sold to a lender with an interest rate, and retailers don’t do this without building-in an acceptable profit for themselves. Ask retailers how much the item will cost if you pay in full, and you could get a lower price.]

Rule #2 Always keep your finances under control. The first step in losing financial control and spiraling into debt and money problems is simply not dealing with personal finances. Prepare for catastrophic financial accidents with health, life, disability, and auto insurance. Plan and save before you buy something. Create a balance sheet for yourself at least once a year to see how you are progressing. Pay every bill on time, or contact the creditor to tell them what is going on and make a partial payment. If you are temporarily unable to handle any of this, ask for some help immediately and find someone trustworthy who will do this for you.

The most common source of financial trouble is a trauma in your life. This can be a health problem (large expenses or unable to work), an emotional problem (divorce or loss of loved one), or a financial problem (losing a job, cut in pay, relocation, unexpected expenses). Whichever the source may be, it leads to three emotional problems: the first is denial, the second is being overwhelmed, and the third is hopelessness. Denial causes people to not open their mail and continue spending as usual, and being overwhelmed paralyzes people from getting assistance and dealing with the situation. For example, if you just lost a loved one, balancing your checkbook and paying bills is not high in your priorities. Unfortunately, tiny amounts of debt grow with interest and penalties into seemingly insurmountable mountains of debt; leaving you with loathsome options such as bankruptcy, poor credit, declining lifestyle spending, and added stress that you bring to relationships and work.

Rule #3 Pay attention to the finances of the people with whom you spend the most time. Whether they are relatives, friends, or co-workers, these people have the most impact on your financial life. Do they consistently follow the first two rules of the money game? Do they earn about the same money as you? If the answer to either of those is “no”, then I recommend that you start spending a little less time with them; and this is why. If they don’t consistently follow the first two rules, it is unlikely that you will either. You unconsciously model the people around you, and the more people you are exposed to that don’t follow the first two rules, the more likely that you will unwittingly follow them. No one thinks they are “trying to keep up with the Joneses”, but we all do it to some extent, and this is the mechanism. On the other hand, if they earn a lot more money than you, you may rack up a lot of debt trying to keep up with them (meeting them at their favorite expensive restaurant, joining them for another expensive vacation, buying a new car because yours is the junker among all of your friends, etc.) On the other hand, if most of your friends earn a lot less than you, you will turn into the group’s banker. For example, you’ll find yourself in the pattern of putting your credit card down to pay for dinner and they’ll all say they’ll pay you back later, but 50% of them never do; and they don’t mind taking advantage of you because, after all, you earn a lot more than they do. Or, you and your friends need to pay a deposit for renting a house and they expect you to write the checks because you have the money available and they do not.

The neighborhood that you live in also creates financial pressure to violate the first two financial goals. Your neighbors are likely to become friends (and I’ve already gone over this), but they also influence the size of your home, extent of your landscaping, price of furniture, and the size of your TV. So pay very close attention to the finances of your neighbors: if you don’t like how they are measuring up for first two rules, move somewhere more in alignment with your financial goals. If your family and friends, don’t measure up financially, find some additional people to spend time with that have financial habits that you’d like to emulate and learn from. I have friends with a wide range of income, but it is much more difficult to follow the first two money rules when I am with the extremes from my own income. You’ll just find it easier to reach the next rule when the peer group that you hang out with aligns closer to your economic level.

Rule #4 Accelerate the other three rules:

Add to your savings by increasing your income through advancing your career. It doesn’t matter whether you enjoy it; it is a means to an end – with the end being progress toward the fulfillment of rule #1. Increase the amount that you save by aggressively lowering four of your highest expenses. Start spending time with people that talk about investing money and are systematically building their wealth the fastest. The combination of all four of these rules will hopefully offer a next-step for you to take today to start getting more “wins” in the money-game.

About The Author
Francis Kier has an MBA in finance and shares his two decades of experience with investing and personal finance. More of his articles are available at http://investing.real-solution-center.com.