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If you had the chance to do it over…

One of my friends on Facebook recently posted this question, “Do you ever look back at a time in your life and think, “self- WTF were you thinking? Were you thinking? Obviously not. Bad self! Never do that again!” Seems to cross my mind from time to time…”

My response was. “Wish I could go back. Looking back, there were 2 times I had the chance to make big decisions that I can tell now affected the rest of my life. Parents, if you can instill one thing in your children, I recommend it be a strong sense of “why…”. Not goals, but what is their major purpose in life. I had not defined my major purpose and chose to go with short-term goals. Short-term goals achieved…major life purpose still hoping to be achieved.”

This inspired me to take a moment to expand on this idea.  I have always considered myself to be a goal-driven person. Looking back, I see that the vast majority of my completed goals were short-term in nature. Rather than seeing this as a weakness, I have recently been reading about setting a major definite purpose.

Now, this isn’t the first time I have heard of setting a MDP. In fact, this concept is a common subject discussed by authors like Napoleon Hill, Steven Covey, and many others. It is only recently that I have decided to define my MDP.

Knowing that the MDP is over-arching and long-term in nature, I simply need to make sure that my short-term and medium-term goals align with my MDP. Had I done that from the beginning, I would not have made those choices that I talked about in my Facebook post.

Anybody care to share their Major Definite Purpose?

High Speed Trading

Just thought I would mention a segment I just saw on 60 Minutes titled “High Speed Trading” which references their article called “How Speed Traders are Changing Wall Street.” There are a few questions that are bouncing around my mind right now.

First, the show and the article point out that some average investors have lost faith in the market. I don’t even consider myself an average investor. I am simply someone trying to figure out the best way to plan for my future. I feel the days of building a diverse portfolio and holding on for the long term may have passed. With these high speed traders, money is made by building the best logarithm and buying space in servers as close to the Wall Street computers as possible. This gives them an advantage because the real-time information makes it to their computers milliseconds ahead of the competition. In those milliseconds, they make millions.

My other concern is a statement in the article. “‘you have to question the true valuation of the markets now,’ says Joe Saluzzi.” Uncertainties caused by these new forms of trading, combined with the market reforms underway (with more to come), make me believe that investing in the stock market will definitely be somewhere off the top of my list.

What do you think?

Rocky Balboa

“When things got hard, you started looking for something to blame. Like a big shadow.
Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it.

You’ve gotta hit as hard as life. It ain’t about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much can you take and keep moving forward? That’s how winning is done.

If you know what you’re worth, go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits. And not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him or her or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that.”

Rocky Balboa’s inspirational speech to his son in the final “Rocky” film.

While watching this show on TV the other night, I watched this scene and was blown away. I paused the show, did a Google search for part of Rocky’s speech and had the full text in moments. Since then, I have thought how Rocky’s speech can apply to so many situations. The situation that is resonating for me right now is how it can be compared to today’s economy.

Most of the people that I know have been negatively affected by this recession. Some of us have been hit very hard, and here’s where I see the application, “You’ve gotta hit as hard as life. It ain’t about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much can you take and keep moving forward? That’s how winning is done.

For those of you reading these first blog posts, I invite you to join me on this new addition to my life efforts. I would also love to learn of your blogs and tales of how you “keep moving forward.”