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An Easter Confession

Happy Easter everyone!

Since this is the Holy Week, the timing couldn’t be more appropriate to write what I have been intending to write for some time now. ¬†(Sorry, haven’t blogged for about a month ūüôā ) ¬†If you have been following my blog, you know my regular topics include financial abundance, character development, success, positivity, winning, and similar other stuff. ¬†But there’s one topic that I haven’t really touched yet. ¬†Until today. ¬†And that’s Faith.

Okay I have a confession to make.  (Deep inhale :D)

Friends, this may shock some of you, but I am a former atheist.  There was once in my life where I was 99.9% sure that God does not exist; that the Bible does not make much sense and could not be the Word of God, and that religion seems to cause more wars than peace.

When people hear this, there are two questions I encounter without fail. ¬†The first one is: ¬†“What makes you believe there is no God?”

My answer is simple. ¬†Logic. ¬†I took 12 units of philosophy in college. ¬†And I believed you can never use logic to prove God. ¬†That’s why it’s called faith. ¬†You chose to believe despite the lack of proof. ¬†That’s what faith is. ¬†There are several other influences that made me an atheist. ¬†History channel’s Ancient Aliens(documentary TV show). ¬†A documentary movie called Zeitgeist. ¬†Some articles in the news (especially Yahoo news) and science journals that I’ve read long ago. ¬†They all seem to point to the conclusion that faith believers are not logical.

Here’s the second question people ask me when they realize I was a non-believer. ¬†“What makes you regain your faith?”

To simplify my answer, I realized that the reason I cannot see the teachings of the Bible and the existence of God as logical is because I lack a certain level of maturity. ¬†I was being very logical, yes. ¬†But there is a certain level of maturity that once you achieve, you will begin to see that it actually makes perfect logic. ¬†The teachings of the Bible will then make perfect sense. ¬†The existence of God will become the most logical thing you’ll ever hear.

I do not want to get too complex so I’ll share the ones that are simple enough to be talked about in a blog.

Why does the Bible say forgive not just 7 times but 70×7 times? ¬†Aren’t you teaching others to become abusive if you do this? ¬†I genuinely thought it does not make sense.

But here’s what I learned. ¬†It makes the ultimate sense if you have a certain level of maturity. ¬†If you do not forgive, you will bottle up hatred, anger, resentment inside of you. ¬†Soon, personal issues and insecurities will develop. ¬†Soon, this will affect your relationships, your job, your career, your finances. ¬†Given enough time, you’ll be a total loser with nobody to cling on to. ¬†So which is more logical, choosing to forgive 70×7 times or choosing not to forgive?

Here’s another one I asked myself. ¬†The Vatican is so freakin’ rich its wealth may even be enough to end the famine in Africa. ¬†Why should we tithe and donate alms?

Again, with a little maturity, you gain more perspective. ¬†And once you have a better perspective, it actually makes perfect sense. ¬†The truth is tithing and giving alms will expand your capacity to practice the teaching “love one another”. ¬†Once you develop this and do this on a regular basis, money will come by quite easily. ¬†That’s just the way it is. ¬†It’s a universal rule. ¬†What comes around goes around. ¬†There has to be give-and-take for it to flow healthily. ¬†When you inhale, you have to exhale. ¬†When you eat, you have to go to the toilet. ¬†Otherwise, the pattern stops. ¬†Learning how to tithe will make your financial life easier. ¬†(Read my first blog “Law of Reciprocity” for more details on this). ¬†It’s for your own good. ¬†And yes, I believe God wants you to be rich (the right way and for the right reasons of course).

There are several other questions that doesn’t seem to make sense at first thought. ¬†Why do bad things happen to good people? ¬†Why does the Bible say pray¬†continuously? ¬†Doesn’t God hear us the first time? ¬†Why do God allow top drug dealers, high-profile kidnappers, organized crime leaders, cheating businessmen to get rich? ¬†Why do God allow them to succeed?¬† If God is all powerful and all good, why are there so much suffering in the world?

I can answer all these questions that would make perfect sense both to believers and non-believers. ¬†Most would require several pages to answer though. ¬†And this is a blog, not a book (who knows? Maybe I’ll come up with a book one day ūüôā ) ¬†Until now, I still do have a lot of questions. ¬†There are still many questions that does not seem to make sense to me. ¬†But I now ask these questions knowing I lack a certain level of maturity or perspective. ¬†I now know that just because it does not make sense to me doesn’t mean that it makes no sense at all.

Let me end this by sharing a personal story.

It was about a year and a half back. ¬†I was definitely a non-believer then. ¬†I was in a Church but only because I have to accompany my ex-girlfriend there. ¬†I have no intention to pray. ¬†I have no intention of signing up for a religion. ¬†But while I was there, I remembered what a former college professor said – “Even faith can be prayed for.” ¬†So there I was, nothing to do, and decided to talk to God to see if He is real: ¬†“If You really do exist, then show it to me. ¬†If my beliefs are really wrong, then guide me to the right path. ¬†If there are things that I misunderstood, then change my perspective.”

Any guess what happened next? ¬†My brother introduced me to Bo Sanchez (his books & blogs, not personally :D). ¬†Suddenly documentaries such as “A Strong Delusion” and “Wake Up Project” find their way into my inbox. ¬†My former flatmate, out of the blue, gave me a Bible, saying it was left in the old apartment and it’s not his. ¬†I met a man named Joseph Chew while doing business. ¬†He turned out to be a part-time pastor and has answered a lot of my questions and doubts. ¬†I got invited to a financial seminar, and it was headed by an entrepreneur who also happens to be another part-time pastor. ¬†The list goes on and on and on.

Albert Einstein once said: “There are two ways to live. ¬†One is as though nothing is a miracle. ¬†The other one is as though everything is a miracle.” ¬†Friends, if you have not experienced a miracle in your life, you have absolutely no idea what you’re missing out!

Speaking of Einstein, can you do me just one small favor and click on this link –¬†http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JgpARGvBnc¬† It’s only a 79-second video clip (and worth every second of it).

Last few words. ¬†To all the atheists,¬†spiritually¬†lost, spiritually deceived, non-believers, or for those who just need more faith,¬†I have learned that God is a gentle God. ¬†He won’t barge in through a closed door. ¬†If you are reading this blog, consider this the knocks in your door. ¬†Open up. ¬†I dare you to “challenge” God to give you faith. ¬†See for yourself what He can do even to non-believers. ¬†Do it! ¬†Don’t chicken out ūüėČ

Enjoy Easter Sunday,

Dan Mark See

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Why doing the right thing is not enough

Why doing the right thing is not enough

Last week, I wrote about how doing something righteous vs doing something unrighteous, no matter how small, can magnify its impact in the process.  (If you miss my past blogs, you can read them by scrolling down to the bottom and clicking on the links).

But is it enough to do the right thing? ¬†How come some people make smart, righteous moves but still does not get ahead in life? ¬†Are you one of those people who are sick and tired of doing what‚Äôs right and is tempted to move to the ‚Äúdark side‚ÄĚ?

I believe doing the right thing alone does not suffice.  Let me share with you a famous story.  A story that started in sports but transcends way beyond it.  If you think I caught Linsanity fever, you bet!  (If you haven’t heard of Linsanity, where have you been?  Kidding :D )

As most of you have heard by now, Jeremy Lin, the humble, kind-hearted, nice-guy,¬†spiritually-faithful NBA player was a bench warmer in the New York Knicks. ¬†How would you feel if you have a Harvard degree, sleeping on your brother‚Äôs couch, worked and practiced your tongue out the entire off-season to get better, but ended up losing your job twice in the last 3 months, and there are rumors that you might get cut again? ¬†Perhaps he could have been asking himself ‚Äúwhy do bad things happen to good people?‚ÄĚ

But here‚Äôs a different side of the story not many newspapers cover. ¬†After losing his job twice in a row, he felt the pain piercing through his flesh. ¬†Badly in need of solace and comfort,¬†¬†he opened the Bible and it reads ‚ÄúWhatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men‚ÄĚ.

After carefully reflecting on it, he realized the reason why he wants to succeed in basketball is to prove his doubters wrong. ¬†He wants to improve his game to shut the critics up. ¬†He realized he was ‚Äúunder pins and needles‚ÄĚ and has been putting too much unnecessary pressure on himself. ¬†He was doing the right thing but for the wrong reasons.

And so his mindset changed. ¬†He told himself ‚ÄúI will prepare and work as hard as I can, and trust that the Lord has planned what‚Äôs best for me.‚ÄĚ ¬†He freed his mind. ¬†He felt light without all the unnecessary pressure. ¬†And he rose from a benchwarmer to the star of the team in just a few games. ¬†‚ÄĚLinsanity‚ÄĚ spread like wildfire, and is considered as one of the fastest rise to fame in sports history. ¬†He did not change the way he play, he simply change the reason why he wants to succeed.

So how about you?  Any chance you are doing the right things for the wrong reasons?

What’s the reason you go to work, desire to contribute or just out of obligation?  What’s the reason you invest, to increase your financial IQ or to maximize every cent you can possibly earn?  What’s the reason you go to Church, to grow spiritually or just need a favor from Him?  What’s the reason you do charity work, to help others or to impress others?  What’s the reason you want to succeed, to prove others wrong or to inspire others?

My dear friends, if you are doing something righteous you deserve a pat in the back.  But try to dig deeper and find out your motive.  Because doing the right thing for the wrong reasons will lead you astray.  But doing the right thing for the right reasons will make life easier and more fulfilling.

To all the Jeremy Lin fans, and to all those who read my blogs, here’s wishing you continued inspiration and a more fulfilling life.

Live life for the right reasons,

Dan Mark See

[Regular topics here include¬†success, investment, health, charity, positivity, faith, winning, abundance, knowledge, taking actions, personal growth, character development. ¬†Please feel free to “follow”, “like”, “share”, and comment.]

Wanna change the world?

Last week, I wrote about how donating at least 10% to charity, investing at least 20%, and limiting your expenses to a maximum of 70% of your income is the first step towards financial abundance.  One of these days, I will write about the 20% part Рinvestment, and perhaps later down the road, write about ways to increase your sources of income.

In the meantime, I would like to write about changing the world.

Yes, changing the world. ¬†I have seen the question “Do you want to change the world?” the past few weeks from job advertisements to marketing campaigns to motivational talks.

So, do you want to change the world?  Can one person really change the world?  How special do you have to be to change the world?

Here’s what I believe. ¬†You have already changed the world. ¬†And you will continue to do so. ¬†Whether you like it or not. ¬†Whether you are aware of it or not.

Let me share with you a story. ¬†Several years ago, a teenager named Tony, together with his 2 younger siblings, were looking at a bleak thanksgiving holiday. ¬†Their parents were struggling financially. ¬†Big time. ¬†They were so poor they can’t even afford to buy a meal during the time of the year where everyone else is feasting. ¬†Understandably it was a sad day. ¬†But something unexpected happened. ¬†A stranger who happen to pass by their home, noticing their sad faces and the absence of food in their table, decided to give away the food and goodies he is carrying to them. ¬†Tony was so struck and so touched by the kind heart of this stranger. ¬†In his mind, he vowed he will grow up to be rich and will help other needy people too. ¬† Fast forward today, Tony Robbins is the best selling author of several books and one of the most famous life coaches around. ¬†He finds joy giving away free food and goodies during Thanksgiving season to those who cannot afford to buy their own. ¬†God knows how many families he has helped.

Why did I share this true story? ¬†To illustrate my point that we are all changing the world. ¬†Who would have known that something as simple as giving free food can change someone’s life, and in turn affect several others more. ¬†The point is, no matter how small or how trivial our deeds are, you never how much the impact will grow. ¬†This is a scientific fact. ¬†Mathematicians call it the Butterfly Effect Theory. ¬†(They made a movie with the same title starring Ashton Kutcher. ¬†If you’ve seen the movie, you know what I’m talking about). The theory explains how a butterfly flapping its wings in China can eventually cost a hurricane in US (again, this is based on science, I’m not making this up. ¬†Research it if you want.) ¬†Whatever you do, no matter how small, it can create a series of reaction magnifying the impact in the process.

Let me share another story. ¬†There were two different altar boys in two different cities in two different churches. ¬†Both of them accidentally hit the chalice containing the wine, spilling the liquid inside. ¬†After the mass, the first altar boy was told “Hey everybody makes mistakes. ¬†I’m clumsy too. ¬†You know what? ¬†Maybe you will grow up to become a priest too.” ¬†But the second altar boy on the other church did not get a similar response. ¬†He was scolded “Get out of here! ¬†You shall not serve as an altar boy!” ¬†Want to know what happened to the boys years later? ¬†The first altar boy grew up to become Archbishop Fulton Sheen, one of the most loved religious leaders in America. ¬†As for the second altar boy, he grew up to become Joseph Tito, the ruthless dictator of Yugoslavia.

Friends, the actions we take are a lot more powerful than we perceive. ¬†And the future will be shaped based on what we do today. ¬†No matter how small, it will have an impact. ¬†You can choose to plant a tree today, or cut down one. ¬†You can choose to curse someone who made a mistake, or you can encourage them to do better. ¬†You can complain about what you don’t have, or you can be grateful for what you have. ¬†You can bully or make fun of other people, or offer a helping hand.

So, do you want to change the world? ¬†I’m afraid you don’t really have a choice. ¬†Whether you like it or not, you play a role in making a difference for the future. ¬†We are all changing the world.

The only question is, are you changing it for good?  Or for bad?

Live life responsibly,

Dan Mark See

[You know what’s better than doing the right thing? ¬†Doing the right thing for the right reasons! ¬†It’ll be my topic for next week. ¬†Be sure to visit again next weekend.]

[Regular topics here include¬†success, investment, health, charity, positivity, faith, winning, abundance, knowledge, taking actions, personal growth, character development. ¬†Please feel free to “follow”, “like”, “share”, and comment.]

10-20-70 Rule

Last week, I shared about the importance of charity and how it benefits both the giver and the receiver. ¬†However, charity alone is not sufficient if you want to grow your wealth. ¬†So today I will write about a guaranteed way to multiply your money. ¬†It’s easy enough even for students on allowance, as long as they are disciplined.

But before I jump into it, let me ask you, do you want a ¬†job with a better pay?¬† Are you thinking of asking a raise from your boss? ¬†Do you want to have other sources of income? ¬†(Oh come on, who doesn’t?)

Friends, top authors of personal finance books have one theme in common. ¬†They all believed in this principle: Forget about asking for bigger salary or profit, if you don’t even know what’s the right thing to do once the money is in your hands. ¬†Whether it’s¬†Robert Kiyosaki or Anthony Robbins or Bo Sanchez or Adam Khoo or any other best selling authors in personal finance, they will tell you that increasing your inflow of money is only second priority. ¬†The top priority is how do you manage the money that you already have. ¬†If you can’t manage the money that you have now, what makes you think you can manage it when it grows bigger?

Matter of fact, getting a pay increase can do more harm than good if you are mismanaging your finances.  In short, the first step towards great wealth is not increasing your income (which is what most people do).  The first step is to properly manage what you already have.

So how do you know if you are managing your finances well? ¬†Here’s what I believe. ¬†If you spend over 70% of what you earn, you are not managing it well.

Now let me explain the 10-20-70 rule. ¬†It simply means that at least 10% of what you earn should go to charity, at least 20% of what you earn should go to investment, and your expenses should not exceed 70%. ¬†Do notice that this rule emphasizes on charity and investment first, your expenses last. ¬†Do not spend first then save what’s left for charity and investment. ¬†Save for charity and investment first, then spend what’s left.

For those of you who spend 70% or less of your income, give yourself a pat in the back.  Just donate at least 10% to charity and invest at least 20%.  Great wealth is coming your way.

For those of you who think you are not earning enough to live on 70% of your income, you need to understand this. ¬†The problem is not the lack of money (although that’s what it appears to be on the surface). ¬†The true underlying problem is that your lifestyle or your spending habits has simply gotten ahead of the 70% threshold. ¬†And you became used to that lifestyle.

I remember when I first moved to Singapore.  I complained about my salary being not enough, or that the commission  scheme is too low, or that the bonus should be higher.  I moved to a different company that pays much better and I was happy earning much more.  But guess what happened after several months, I found myself complaining again.  The more money I receive, the higher my lifestyle and my spending habits elevate.  And so I moved again.  You get the picture.  I learned that no matter where I moved, it will not solve the problem.  Because the problem is not the lack of money, the problem is what do I do with the money.

Thank goodness I have learned the 10-20-70 principle. ¬†It has impacted me positively both in my finances and in my outlook in life. ¬†And I’m sharing it to you now. ¬†It’s your turn to grow in abundance.

Have a great life,

Dan Mark See

[Regular topics here include¬†success, investment, health, charity, positivity, faith, winning, abundance, knowledge, taking actions, personal growth, character development. ¬†Please feel free to click “follow”, “like”, and “share”]

 

Law of Reciprocity

After catching up with several different friends, I was told that the story I shared with them has to be shared to others too. While deciding whether to write a book or a blog about it… oh well, you know which one I chose 

Let me talk about charity for this first blog that I ever wrote.

I used to question why Christians were asked to tithe when the Vatican is so freakin’ rich in the first place. Think about it. It sounded more like a great business scam.

What do you think? Why should we donate our hard earned money to the poor? Here’s what happened to me when I started donating to charity regularly.

Out of the blue, strangers called me asking if I can help him source for candidates ( I run a recruitment business). Instant clients! It didn’t stop there. Out of the blue, the right candidates were referred to me just at the right time too. Business deals just closed by themselves!

I would love to think of it as a coincidence, but it can’t be as deals continuously come in and closed almost by themselves repetitively. (Trust me, I have been in the recruitment industry for 5 years. No such luck ever heard).

Friends, what I learned and experienced is called the Law of Reciprocity. What you give, you shall receive back in abundance. If you plant a mango seed, you get more mangoes. If you plant papaya seeds, you get more papayas. That’s just how the world works. If you donate your money, you get more money. If you donate your time, other people will give you their time. Whether you like it or not, this is how it works.

To sum it up, what I learned is that the biggest beneficiary when you do charity work is NOT the person receiving your money (or time or whatever you are donating). The biggest beneficiary when you do charity work is you!

Beyond the shadow of any doubt, I am convinced that this is the way life should be lived. We are meant to share what we have with each other. But don’t just read about it. I invite you to experience it. I guarantee you will grow in abundance!

Toast to your success,

Dan

Charity is good. But charity alone is not enough if you want to grow your finances. Next time I will share the 10-20-70 rule. A guaranteed way to multiply your money.