"Brother Faiket, I think I need some advice on money matters" was the message of one of my friends. The reason he contacted me was because someone posted a message on a Whatsapp group about my book "Uncensored Truth About Money" and the guy was strongly recommending the book.
I replied my friend that we can discuss but the way we minister/advise is very direct and some people cannot take it and easily get offended. Knowing that he is older than me, I thought he would not mind a straight forward approach...but to my surprise, he paused for sometime and said he will be in touch.
It has been more than three months that this conversation happened and I have not heard from my friend. Many people would rather accept the status quo that they are living instead of accepting a correction. Many waste many years of their life trying their best to figure out something that they don't know when all it takes is about 30 minutes with someone who already knows the answer to their problem.
Be open to correction is very important if you are serious about changing your life. Just like using the waze or google maps when you drive somewhere. You might be taking the wrong turn and the waze application will figure out another way to reach your destination. You have two choices to make: accept the new way that waze application is showing you or ignore it and continue your way and delay reaching your destination or getting even further from your destination.
Be open to correction.
Today, my wife and I went to check and do some cleaning at one of our investment properties. We had a very nice tenant who took good care of our property. We were very happy with the cleanliness of the unit and as we were leaving taking the lift, I noticed the buttons of each floor and just saw the button which is the highest floor of the building, level 45, and there was a writing beside it "Sky Deck". My wife, Olivia and I, looked at each other in surprise and I said "We did not know all this while that we have a sky deck on our building!".
I pressed the lift button to go to the highest floor (45) to have a look at the sky deck an d it was very nice.
So, why did I share you this story. There are times in our lives that we do not know what we already have. There are times we forget, there are times we do not recognize what we have.
This morning I met a friend that has written his first book and we exchanged our books over a cup of coffee. He was sharing some of his life's journey and how he ended up going from Malaysia to USA to take up John Maxwell's certification course on leadership. He said that God told him to do so and he asked God back as where does he get the money to cover the course fee, the airplane tickets and accommodation. He continued to ask God for sometime, "where is the money?'. Suddenly God told him that he already has the money. In other words, the money is already with my friend. He literally shook up and realized that God was absolutely right. Something happen to him recently and he got a lump sum of money which would cover all his expenses for the USA trip and he totally forgot about it.
Many of us fall into this trap. There are talents and gifts that we already have and we forgot about it, we ignore it, we are not sure about it or we don't know it. Just like my case. I started doing entertaining shows as Mr. Bean impersonator around six years ago. But, do you think, six years ago, suddenly, I was transformed and looked like Mr. Bean character? Of course not. All the while I had that look but I did not recognize it or I ignored it even when someone would say that I looked like Mr. Bean. Maybe I wanted to look like Tom Cruise:)
Let's do a self check. Let us find things, external and internal that we already have but we forgot about it, we ignored it, we are not sure or we might not know. It is worthy. Be blessed.
We are living in a world that is filled with negativity and stress from every corner. The media has been making tons of money because negative news sales. Negativity leads to stress. Many people that I know take pride in declaring they are stressful. Ask someone how are you and the common response is "I am very buzy and under stress." Looks like the corporate world has to be stressful or something is not right.
Next point that I want to make is that stress leads to health problems. Many diseases are cased by stress. Many years ago I was involved in the wellness industry and at some point I was consulting individuals on certain immune condition. These individuals used to come and meet me almost weekly to monitor their progress. There were weeks when their condition was really bad and we checked the lifestyle and there was no major changes to cause their condition to become worse except the stress level.
The book of Proverbs states something very powerful that most of us ignore. It says, laughter does good like a medicine. This was written thousands of years ago and science has proven the health benefits of laughter. Find something to laugh about daily. Many people take themselves too seriously. Take some funny selfies with your phone...just do it. The reason I wrote today about laughter is because of Facebook. Facebook reminded me today of a video we took with my kids and their cousin two years ago. It is a funny video of us dancing. I looked at it and I started laughing.
The moment you finish reading this article, please find something to laugh. Maybe you need to call a friend who is funny. Some people go to stand up comedy shows. Some people like to watch Mr Bean series. One of the reason I like doing Mr Bean impersonation shows is that I like to see people laugh. Bringing surprise joy to people is really fun.
Laughter does good like a medicine. Laugh and be healthy.
Happy Valentine's Day!
My posting today on Instagram and Facebook is "With her, everyday is a Valentine Day:)
I can hear some of you would say "Come on, be real...". Well, it depends how do you define valentine's day. If it all about love, then yes, no matter what we go through on a daily basis, the foundation of our relationship is love.
Even though yesterday we argued about me cleaning up my desk, which is messy, we do not allow arguments to affect our love.
I have come to realize that love is more than a feeling. Love is a decision. If my love for Olivia is dependent on some intense feeling of deep affection as defined by some dictionary, then we will be in trouble. Because our feelings are not consistent. I can feel angry and mad at moments so does it mean I do not love my wife during those moments?
Not persuaded? Let me go to the spiritual side. God says love your neighbor as yourself and God goes to the next level to love your enemies. If this depended on feelings, I don't know about you, but for me it is totally impossible. So, love is a decision.
I am reminded of a man of God, Mark Varughese who said something profound recently "See the God in people, see the good in people, see the gold in people." This is so true. Olivia is not perfect and I am not perfect but we have learnt to see the God in each other, see the good in each other, and see the gold in each other.
Love is daily decision. We have been married for 16 years. We took our vows 16 years ago and we decided to do life together back then. But love is a daily decision. Why? Have you seen couples who started very well for a few years then something happened. There are storms that may come along the way related to money, related to career, related to other people, temptations, and so on, and that is the reason I say love is a daily decision. The first thing to thank God for in the morning is my wife. The Bible says, He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord.
Happy Valentine's Day guys!
It is the last day of January 2019. It is the first month of the year. A few days ago I met a young entrepreneur and we had a short conversation. He started our chat by telling me that the beginning of the year is slow. He meant is business is slow.
I responded "Well, not for our business. We have been super busy this January and the clients are asking for more projects to be executed."
My answer to him was not based on some positive thinking formula so I would look and sound good. My answer was based on the fact that our business is really good, even though it is January, the first month of the year.
The young entrepreneur is following a pattern that majority of people follow. Meaning, literally everybody will say, especially in Malaysia, that beginning of the year the business is surely slow. So, what they declare, they believe. As a man thinks, so he becomes. So, he kept on thinking that business is slow in the beginning of the year and that is what he experienced. It is just like when people talk about flu, "Oh it is the flue season. everybody is getting the flu. Better watch out."
Why chose to become a victim of circumstances? The worst part is that what people declare is not even the truth. Let me prove it to you. Do you think all of businesses experience a slowdown during the beginning of the year? Of course not. I am very sure there are many businesses that thrive in the beginning of the year. Do you think everybody got the flu during the flu season? Of course not.
But the economy is bad. I met an entrepreneur last year, during the "bad" economy, who just purchased a brand new Porsche. He calls is his toy. His business is growing locally and internationally.
So, what is the solution? Start with positive expectations. This is a powerful principle. This is not wishful thinking; "I wish the economy is good", "I wish I will do better this year". Expectation is attraction. What you expect, you will attract. We did not expect the beginning of the year to be slow. Actually, to be honest, we expect supernatural results because we believe in the supernatural realm.
So, start with positive expectations whether it is regarding your health, business, relationships and every aspect of your life. Be blessed.
"You inspired me" he said. I did not expect those three words to come out from my ex-client. I bumped into him in one of the shopping malls and after greeting each other he said "You inspired me". I was like, how can it be? In what way? He told me that he has been following me on Facebook and noticed that I started doing shows as Mr Bean impersonator and I even quit my full time job to pursue the entertainment business. He said that my decision inspired him to pursue his passion to be on the stage as an entertainer (something related to music). So, he quit his lucrative corporate job and yes, he was holding a high management position, married with children, which means he has responsibilities, just like me.
Why am I sharing this story with you? Is it to brag on myself? Definitely not. The point of sharing the story is this. You never know what our decisions cause to someone else. I could have never imagined that my life choices could have inspired and impacted someone of that level to make some radical choices too. To be honest, in my first few months that I started doing shows as Mr Bean impersonator, I thought that people like my client will look down at me for leaving my consultancy, and full time employment for something like an "impersonator". comedian.
It has been six years since I started the entertainment business as I look back, it is one of the best decisions that I have made in my life. Life is full of surprises. Sometimes we just need to take a leap of faith, take a risk towards the unknown and flow with it for a while. That decision six years ago enabled me to be free from the employment mentality and the success that I achieved through the shows, influenced my wife's mindset to look forward to her freedom. She quit her job to join me and we started expanding our business beyond just entertainment to social media content creation and management. Thank God for the journey.
So back to the main story. Remember, sometimes you never know who are you inspiring. This evening that I am writing this post, we just came back from a wedding celebration. One of our friend's daughter got married. We met some other friends there that we have not met face to face for a long time. After the usual greetings, our friend said "You guys are doing very well yah!". "How do you know", I asked. She said "I have been following you in Facebook".
I believe your decisions this year will inspire somebody. I believe your decisions this year will inspire many people. Let's make this year an inspiring one. You inspire me!
Shortly after I published my book "Uncensored Truth About Money", I was invited as a speaker in business networking dinner with about thirty entrepreneurs/business owners. I shared our life journey and of course I focused on certain factors that impacted our life and I gave major credits to my wife Olivia. I told the audience that I would not be on the platform if my wife was not supportive and encouraging through our ups and downs, especially during crisis.
So, chose your life partner carefully. Your partner can make or break you. It is true. I have seen a lot of marriages that are destroyed. In many cases the major issue was money. For some marriages the issue was the lack of money. For some, believe it or not, too much money, and these are the cases where a partner cheats and stuff like that.
So, one of the main factors for the success in my life is my wife, Olivia.
The most important factor though is God. Yes, God. There is the spiritual side of life that many are not aware of. I am not talking about a vague religious concept of God and believing that there is God. I am talking about a relationship with God and applying His principles in life. I wrote a lot about this relationship in my book "Uncensored truth about money" and the subtitle of the book is "From the curse of poverty to the promise of prosperity". Why did I use strong words like "curse"? Because it is true. We were not aware of the curse for many years and we suffered a lot financially. But once we realized that the financial curse was active and God has provided in His Word the way to stop the curse through His powerful principles, our life turned around.
So, during the same dinner event, someone raised his hand to ask a question and it was interesting. The guys asked, besides God and your wife, what other factors contributed to your success in business. I paused for a while and answered him, strategic partnerships. We are living in a world that is so dynamic. We cannot be doing business in a traditional way. Traditional methods of running a business are too slow. So we realized, for us to be at the top of the game, we need strategic partners. We cannot be good at everything. But when a few parties comes together and put their strengths to work as a team, wonders can happen. We are blessed to work with great strategic partners.
Did you notice that actually all the three factors that I mentioned are about partnerships. Partner with God, partner with my wife and strategic business partners. I trust that you will consider seriously who do you partner with. All the best to your success.
When I do talks and share our life journey in different settings, most of the time I tell the audience to guard what they hear. The ears are the gateway to faith. I go a step further to demonstrate this. There is something fascinating about the ears. Let's do this, if you don't mind; if I ask you to close your eyes, you can do it straight away. You don't need to use your hands to open and close your eyes. You just do it. It is very easy and no efforts at all. If I ask you to even hold your breath for a while, you can still do it. Now here comes the million dollar instruction; close your ears. Do not use your hands or anything, just close your ears the way your closed your eyes. Come on, do your best!
You realize that it is not possible to close your ears. Even when we are asleep, our ears are still functioning for us. So, what is my point! Since our ears are always in the receiving mode (24-7), we need to guard what we hear. If you hear a lot of fear filled words or news, you will develop a faith for fear.
There is car a workshop that I go to service one of our cars. Back in the year 2012, there was a mechanic who used to take care of my car. Sometimes he will come and talk to me and suddenly, he will share some crazy negative news. Totally out of the blue, he will ask whether I heard the news about this or that person who jumped out of a building etc. After about two months, I went back to the workshop and I looked for him and the other staff told me that he had an accident and passed away. You see, that man was feeding his mind by hearing a lot of bad news.
Guard your ears against TV news. Bad news sales so do not fall a victim to that. In my previous article I wrote about having positive expectations. You cannot have positive expectations if you keep on hearing bad news. It will affect you.
I mentioned that even when we sleep our ears are in the receiving mode. Very frequently, my wife and I, play something positive, like audio Bible, while we sleep. Why not? I fill my spirit man while my physical body is sleeping.
I hope you got the message. Make a commitment this year, 2019, to guard what you hear. Actually, I learned this from the Bible where is says, "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God". This is a powerful life principle. Be blessed.
I will focus in only one word in this article "Expectation".
What is your expectation for 2019?
What you expect, you will attract. If you have positive expectations you will attract positive things to come to you. If you have negative expectations, negative stuff you will attract.
You can ask any successful person on this planet and I believe you will get the same answer. I believe all of them had positive expectations. If you are spending some time to write down some goals for 2019, you better expect to achieve those goals otherwise it will just be some goals in a piece of paper or on a digital device.
Let me go another level with this. I dare call it the law of expectation.
So why would people have negative expectations?
Because they are feeding their mind with negative news. If their marriage is not working, most probably, one of the reasons is they have allowed negative information to program their mind that most marriages are not working. They allow that information to affect their expectation. So what is your expectation for your marriage in 2019? If you are not married, but you are in a relationship, what is your expectation for your relationship?
If you are an entrepreneur and somehow you have experienced some rough and tough road in your entrepreneurship journey, what are you expecting in 2019? Are you affected by the economy in general? Well, there are people who are doing very well whether the economy is good or bad.
If you are a parent, what are you expecting for your children in 2019? We are expecting our children to be healthy, strong, wiser, loving God, and loving the family and the people around them.
We also expect our God to bless us even more in 2019. He is a good God and his favor is real. So, have positive expectations for 2019!
Don't you feel the same way?
Well, you should! No matter what happened this year, 2018, you should still be thankful. If you reflect on your journey so far, you and I had 365 days of making choices. Some of us made good choices most of the time, and some of us did not make all good choices all the time. What is important is to reflect and take away some lessons.
Some say do not look at the past. That is partially true. The real meaning of that statement is not to dwell in your past. But we can learn something from the past so we will not repeat the mistakes of the past in the future.
So, let's be specific now. Why am I thankful for 2018?
To start with, 2018 is another year of working with my wife and I am really thankful for that. As I have mentioned in another blog, "Working with my wife", not many men like to work together with their wives. I enjoy working with Olivia. Actually, it is a dream come true. Since I quit my job six years ago to focus on my entertainment business, I prayed to God to set Olivia free from the corporate job so she could be with me and do business together. It happened and I am thankful for that.
Another reason to be thankful for 2018 is that we managed to settle fully a car loan payment. According to the bank records, if we continued normally with our monthly payments, our car should be paid in two years time. I believe in July 2018 we went to the bank and settle the whole amount. It was a great feeling. Another step towards being debt free. The Bible says, "Owe no one anything, except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law" Romans 13:8. It is nice to drive a debt free car:)
Our business in 2018 reached another level. The credit goes to my darling Olivia as she worked hard and smart in all the projects. Very thankful for clients who trusted us even when we did not have any credentials for the projects. It is God's favor. Through one of the projects, we get to go all the way to Japan for a week and it was a great trip.
One of the most important reasons to be thankful for 2018 is that all our family members enjoyed good health. Thank God for His protection and divine health. Health is wealth and it is true. Without health is not possible to enjoy the wealth.
In summary, I am thankful for 2018 as I am another year wiser. I get to spend a lot of time with my wife and the kids. We drive debt free cars, good business, and health. Now it is your turn to reflect on 2018. You don't have to write a blog, unless you chose to, but take the time and write down at least five things you are thankful for 2018 and be excited for 2019. Design the life you deserve.
Hi guys, Faiket Luari here. I am originally from a small beautiful country called Albania. For more than 20 years have been living in Asia, mostly in Malaysia. I am a trainer, coach, entertainer & investor.