personal mission statement, and links

I’ve been trying apply the Pareto Principle (discussed ad nauseum elsewhere) to my daily activities a bit – trying to focus on important things and let stuff that I might enjoy but don’t really advance my life goals go.  It’s harder than you think:  I like reading about sports and spending time tinkering with this blog, but neither activity moves me anywhere closer to where I want to go with my life.  I did do one activity that was quite helpful:  I am trying to use Stephen Covey’s suggestion, from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, to write a personal mission statement.  It’s one of those typical self-help type things that sound somewhat goofy but it’s a surprisingly difficult exercise.  I’m trying to limit it to about three lines and you can get a definite idea of where your values are when you’re forced to narrow down your personal priorities – which can encompass your family, friends, work, beliefs, and so on – down to about 2-3 sentences.  Not that easy.

On to the links:

3 Reasons Why Most People Will Never Earn More Money — And What You Can Do About It!: It’s a good point, and frankly one that I have been guilty of: I spend more time explaining why I can’t than trying to do it. I could make more than I do, but I don’t.

What Will Retirement Look Like for Younger Generations?: It’s a depressing thought. The future of retirement in the US is bleak. If anyone tells you otherwise, they are kidding themselves. Even in the public sector, things are looking worse. In the private sector? Forget about it. Tell me how you can retire at a reasonable age if you’re a middle-of-the-road wage earner in America and I’ll tell you how I can sell you a lovely bridge in Brooklyn.

Pay Off Your Mortgage vs Pay Down Your Mortgage: One of the huge questions in personal finance: I’ve always thought that it was stupid to pay off one’s mortgage (because it locks up your money) but now? Not so sure.

Sucked Back into Obsessive Couponing: Saving money is bad. No, really. No, really…it’s not. I wish I did it more than I do.

Should Unemployment Benefits Be Extended?: Listen, there has to be a limit. One year, maybe. I pushed seven months, myself, and had to relocate halfway across American to find a new job (admittedly by choice of a new locale). But I have never felt guilty about getting that money – don’t forget, it’s money paid INTO the system as “insurance” – your unemployment benefits are benefits being paid back to you because you paid that money into a fund for unemployment benefits. No shame it drawing on that account….

Lending Club Loan Investment Update: Lending Club has been a great investment for me and I may put more in soon; peer-to-peer lending is still a good way to diversify past Wall Street.
Are You a To-Do List Bottom-Feeder?: I am. I let small things keep me from big things all. the. time. It kills me that I recognize this and can’t correct it.

And more…