What had us think that we are all that different?

Today while taking my daughter to school, we parked our car along the roadside to drop her off; suddenly another car just drove in front of our car recklessly and stopped to drop his daughter off.  The way his car was parked disrupted the entire flow of the traffic and I noticed my instant thought was “Oh! No.  He is Chinese, how un-thoughtful and what will others think about Chinese drivers.” And instantly, the next thought is “What are people going to think about me the next time they see me since I am “Chinese”?”  Yes I admit automatically those were the thoughts that came in.  We all have those thoughts, the good thing is I have awareness of them now so I don’t react nor take any actions on them. I just noticed them and saying thank you for sharing and let those thoughts go.

However, it had prompted me this time to think further again about ethnicity.  What would the world be like if we really stop using these language of division?  Instead of labeling and calling someone a White or Black or Chinese or Asian or even labeling each other based on where we are from: Canadians, Malaysians, Indians, and so on.

Truly what had us think that we are all that different? Where did all these come from?  How quickly I myself started labeling? Did we take time to think about it?  Where do our perceptions of how “these” people behave or will be come from?  And more importantly, do they serve us these perceptions and do they serve our world?

Yes, the color of our skin is different but that’s about it.  We may have grow up in a different environment and therefore learn different ways of living yet if we look at each other, we are the same.   Put a lighter skin child in India and he or she will learn the ways of the people there.  Put a darker skin child in Texas, USA and he or she will learn the ways of the people there and most likely speak with an accent too. Now, some may read this and find my words “racist” yet I am only defining the color of the skin.  Unless the one that is reading this is thinking about all the opinions or judgments about what the color of the skin means, and felt that I am being a racist when the fact is I am only describing.

Are we all any different from each other?

Human beings are born with two eyes, one nose, one mouth, two ears, two arms, two legs, a torso, a head, neck, I can go on and on yet you get me.  The fact is we come in different packaging style and color.  That’s all.  Curly hair, straight hair, rounder face, sharper face, darker skin, lighter skin, taller, shorter…

What will the world look like if we just address each person as a human being? And just see them as a unique individual? Not based on their skin color, country they come from, their background, their parents’ background, and educational background.  How will the world be like?  Look into the person eye’s and just see him or her for who he/she is.

I would say it would be pretty amazing!  Shedding all those labels and just embracing each individual for who they are! Truly inspiring and liberating!  I see then people will embrace themselves fully, being who they are best, expressing their full potential and expressing talents and creating a better world for all..

Today, I invite you to practice seeing each person for who they are not who they are labeled to be and share with us how this practice has changed your life!

Financial Independence Sooner, Rather Than Later

By Ruth Bayang

I was asked to write this blog to share why I created my nonprofit, Empower Women Organization. Its mission is to enlighten, inspire, and empower teenage girls and young adult women to become financially free and design a life of passion, purpose and integrity.

The norm that our parents and grandparents knew of working 30 to 40 years for one company, and then retiring and receiving a pension until their dying days, are long gone. This model which worked for them in the Industrial Age, no longer works for us living in the Information Age.

Men and women today need to hear the beat of a different drum: financial independence sooner rather than later… not at the retirement age of 65 but decades before. Women especially should be heeding this message for the simple reason that they generally live longer than men.

A new Fidelity Investments survey released in January 2016 revealed that some 55% of Americans have no retirement savings at all. A significant number of those are very close to retirement age, between the ages of 55 and 64.  That leads to the conclusion that they will have work the rest of their lives. It’s one thing to choose to work because you want to and you love what you do. It’s quite another to HAVE to work because you cannot pay for your food, rent/mortgage, insurance and other living expenses otherwise.

What does financial independence mean to you? To me, it means having enough passive income coming in to exceed my expenses. I can choose to go to a job or not. Passive income typically comes from investments, real estate assets, a side business, or royalties from past work. Passive income pays you even when you are sick, disabled, or even dead. It does not require you to show up for 40 hours a week at a specific location to do a specific job. Passive income will take care of your family financially long after you are gone.

What would you do with your time if you were not tied to the financial obligation of needing a paycheck from a job? Would you travel more? Spend more time with your children? Explore new projects, opportunities, discover a new passion? Financial freedom empowers you to try new things that old age and poor health may eliminate in a traditional retirement setting.

If this all sounds like unicorns and rainbows to you, it’s not. If you have never heard of this concept before, please do not dismiss it as fantasy. This is a solid financial plan that most financial advisers don’t talk about… simply because they don’t know any better.

Are you willing to open your eyes to something new? Are you willing to create a lasting legacy for your family for generations to come? Or will you stay in a system where you may or may not have enough money for retirement and leave your family in the same boat?

Please wake up. There is no such thing as “job security.” As Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad said, “For people who want security, the price is freedom. The more security you have, the less freedom you have. That’s why in jail, it’s called “maximum security” because they have the least freedom.”

Break free of what you think to be true. If your parents were low- to middle-income, they likely taught you to think like a low- to middle-income person. They didn’t know any better. And up till now, you didn’t know any better. Have you ever noticed that wealth tends to stay in wealthy families? It is because the wealthy teach their children to think like a wealthy person. It is a different mindset.

It’s time to discover a different way that will lead you to be financially free so you may design a life of passion, purpose and integrity.

Ruth Bayang is the Content Development Director of WEWorld Network and a two-time Emmy Award-winner.

Own it and You will Embrace it!

I remember a few years ago when one of my mentors told me I am a leader, I laughed and brushed it away telling her, no I am not.

No matter how many times I was told by my friends or mentors that I am a good leader, that I am able to motivate and inspire people to take actions and that my life was a demonstration of leadership, I wasn’t ready to see it for myself.

I couldn’t own it until I lead my company with 22 employees and created phenomena; results for my company within a short span of time that I realized that I am a leader.   I had all along defined a leader as someone who is bold, doing great big things for the world with many followers and forgot that being a leader is someone who leads others and more importantly, lead oneself.

So one of the biggest lessons for me was it takes me to acknowledge I am one that made the whole difference for me.  It was me who held myself back all these while from taking greater role fearing that I am not the right one for the leadership role.  It was me who created an internal story about how I am not a leader and made it true for me.  Once I shifted my perspective and own my power and believing that I am a leader, things began to change!

Since then I have gone on to doing bigger things.  We have created the first Women in Business World Summit, which is now rebranded to WEWorld Summit.  When I stepped into my power and my leadership, within a short two months, we created an event with 50 powerful amazing leaders and entrepreneurs from all over the world.  And that’s the irony of it.  Before I own it, I stopped myself from stepping up.  Once I own it, I started embracing my leadership and I began to move into bigger actions and created some outstanding results.

So whatever you intend to be, it starts with you embracing that part of you and then step into it.  A great practice is to look at what is it you fear embracing or you dislike about yourself.  I personally believe beneath the fear and the dislike is the discovery of your true self.  In other words, if you dislike how you look right now, to me, the truth beneath that is You are Beauty.  If you fear embracing Connection, the truth is you are Connection.  And once you discover them, write them down and read them as your affirmations daily and see how you life change!