Training and development is vital for personal continuous improvement, and most businesses have a self-contained training and development team. But not everybody is fortunate to work for a business that sends you on free training courses. For those of you who are out of work, self-employed, or work for a company that just doesn’t care, then I believe you should treat yourself as if you are a business. Each year you should create a series of goals, which include training and development to ensure to continually improve. Last weekend I was transforming my life at the Landmark Forum. There are a number of lessons to learn about my attendance at this wonderful event that I didn’t plan to attend. If you check my goals there is no mention of the Landmark Forum. Training courses cost money and this is why you should plan them in advance – so you can budget accordingly. The Landmark Forum cost me £805 of un-budgeted income. (Course=£375, Hotels=£380 & Food=£50) If you ran your business this way you would find yourself unemployed very quickly, so don’t behave this way when you are your own business.
Action: Each year you should decide what your training and development budget is going to be and plan accordingly. If you want to attend the Landmark Forum then plan to do so and save the money. Do not randomly attend courses midway through the year because you feel like it. This is how you get into debt.
In last weeks Pick of the Week: Debt and Divorce I told you that I found myself £1,400 overdrawn. It was the first time that I have been overdrawn since I retired from the rail industry and it scared me. I have since read two excellent finance books Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin & Joe Dominguez and The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsay and am midway through my third, I Will Teach You to be Rich by Ramit Sethi. I have taken the best advice from the first two books and have so far created 16 actions. I am going to be sharing each action with you on this blog, but in the meantime just focus on this solitary point.
Action: Stop spending money! Financial independence starts by understanding that you are the reason you are destitute. A picture says a thousand words – over to you Will Smith.
In a previous blog post Pick of the Week: Love and Blood I wrote about the death of my Nan. During her final weeks on this earth, and in the wake of her death, the family was beset with worry and stress. In fact there was so much worry and stress that when she died there was more relief than actual grief. Obviously the worry and stress cannot be eliminated completely, because by the mere nature of illness and death there is going to be a reaction, but part of the problem lies behind the uncertainty. Nobody really knew what to do when my Nan fell ill, and trying to organise everything in the wake of her death was exactly the same.
There is not much to be certain of in life, but one thing we can be certain of is the fact that we will all die. Yet despite this fact people still refuse to discuss death. But until people start to discuss it, and plan for their eventual demise, people the world over will continue to be dragged through this emotional minefield.
The other thing that bothered me this week was the funeral itself. Funerals are such dire affairs and yet they don’t have to be. I believe it should be a celebration of life, but instead we all stand and sing hymns we don’t even know the words to. It was a Christian service and yet my Nan was not a Christian and neither were most of the people in attendance. So why were we all saying prayers and singing hymns? I had a vision of my own funeral and people were telling stories about my life. Everyone was having a good laugh and a good cry as they took time to share their memories. Then the needle fell off the funeral dream record because unless I pull my finger out of my arse, it will be two hymns and a few prayers to a God I don’t believe exists.
Action: Wake up and smell the death. We are all going to get old and we are all going to die! Make arrangements for your care when you are elderly. It costs money, so make sure you have saved for it. Make sure you have a will so if you should fall severely ill or die people do not need to fret or worry. Last but not least, make sure that you make arrangements for the type of service you want and place it into your will.
Death Photo courtesy of TheTim (CC & Flickr)