Is Your Relationship With Money Holding You Back?

Mel H. Abraham, the host of The Affluent Entrepreneur Show, often hears clients tell him, “I’m having some money issues because …” What follows “because” could be any number of reasons, but in Abraham’s book, money issues are often a symptom and not the actual problem. “The fact is your current financial situation is a result of your past decisions,” he explains.

So, when his clients take a moment to honestly examine their decisions and habits surrounding money, he often sees some of the seeds of where they are today — things like how much they did or didn’t save, what they typically spend their money on, and whether their relationship with money is toxic.

The reality, says Abraham, is that we are often conditioned to have limiting beliefs about money from a very young age. Money is not something we talk about or are taught about in school. And unless you intentionally seek to learn about money, your primary source of learning is observation. “The question, though, is: Who are you observing?” Abraham asks.

Most of our money education comes from our surroundings, aka parents, friends, and neighbors, as well as conversations we’ve overheard or what the media has told us. “Were they the best source of financial information and financial education?”

Based on these observations, we unconsciously create beliefs about money, and these beliefs form what Abraham refers to as our “money identity.” That identity could spur from things as simple as hearing a parent say, “We can’t afford that,” which could lead you to start believing that money is scarce and that you need to be afraid of spending any money at all.

You could have grown up hearing that “people who have money are greedy,” which might make you not want to work as diligently, or that “money is not important,” which can lead to brushing off the financial side of your life.

As you get older, these limiting beliefs can intensify. And Thomas Creel, the founder and owner of Creel Financial LLC, says these common toxic money thoughts can lead to everything from preventing you from asking for a raise you deserve to overspending, putting off saving for retirement, or staying in debt. He shares the following as examples of limited money beliefs:

• “I’ll never be good with money, so why even try?”

• “My friends seem to be doing well with money; something must be wrong with me.”

• “As long as I can pay my bills every month, I can spend the rest on having fun.”

• “Life is too short; I’ll worry about retirement when I get older.”

• “Only going out with my friends and spending money is when we have fun.”

• “My friends wouldn’t want to hang out with me if we did something for free.”

• “My parents never talked about money, so I guess I won’t talk about it either.”

• “If I lose all my money, then my parents will just give me more.”

• “Money is the cause of all the world’s problems; therefore, I never want to be wealthy.”

When it comes to money conversations, Dr. Elizabeth Dunn, the chief science officer for Happy Money, sees many parallels to the evolving conversation about mental health. “In the past, there was more of a stigma that kept many from sharing openly about their mental health struggles,” she says.

“Thankfully, that is changing, but when it comes to conversations about debt, income, and other money topics, it seems that we are still very reluctant to discuss our finances.” Getting in tune with your financial beliefs is one of the very best ways to start repairing your relationship with money.

Here are some expert-backed ways to begin repairing your relationship with money:

View money as just a tool

Creel likes to look at money as a tool in the same way that you would view a hammer as a tool. “You can either use the hammer to build a useful shelf for your home, or you could use the hammer to break things. It’s the same thing with money,” he explains. And just like how you have to learn how to swing a hammer, you have to learn how to use money to build the life you want.

Let go of the belief that “money is complicated or confusing”

“This often leads to not trying to learn about money because you believe it is beyond you — which it isn’t,” says Abraham. But if you don’t do anything to increase your understanding of money, you cannot feel better about your relationship with money. “All money skills are learnable, but without effort, we can fall into complacency, and complacency with money, which is the first step toward crisis,” Abraham explains.

Creel says it’s likely that you weren’t ever formally taught how to handle your money, and this is probably the reason you aren’t managing it correctly. “No one is taught how to use their money, and that’s what gets us into trouble,” he explains. “So, give yourself grace and know that wherever you’re at in your journey with money, there’s always something you can do to get better with it and improve your situation.”

Challenge your upbringing

Creel asks clients to take inventory of their childhood perceptions of money and question any limiting beliefs that they may have formed about it. “Ask yourself, ‘When it came to how my parents handled money, what did I learn from them?’ Talk with close friends and see what answers come up,” he says. This will likely bring up some common themes, like “money is hard to save” or “only people with X type of job have the ability to have a lot of money.” Next, ask yourself, “Am I sure that these beliefs are true?” “What are some other possible outcomes that could be true?” asks Creel.

Create some positive money affirmations

Come up with several empowering affirmations that you can say to yourself every morning that can help change your thoughts around money. Creel suggests the following:

• “I am capable of overcoming any money obstacles that stand in my way.”

• “I’m not poor; I’m just low in wealth right now. That is changing.”

• “I can conquer my money goals.”

Realize that your money situation can change

You might be strapped for cash at the moment, but a new job, a period of diligent saving, or a raise could change all of that, and quickly. “Remembering that much of what feels overwhelming in life, and with finances, is temporary is a good first step to overcoming anxiety when managing your finances,” explains Lauren Anastasio, a certified financial planner at SoFi. Try to shift your mindset and remind yourself that debt doesn’t have to last forever. “Keep your eyes on the light at the end of the tunnel,” Anastasio says.

Find a budget buddy

Understanding that the emotions you are going through are very real, and most likely have been felt by people you know, can be a comfort. “Talking to your partner, a close friend, or family member about what is going on may help you let go of guilt, shame, and financial anxiety,” says Anastasio.

Your budget buddy can be your cheerleader when you need it and motivate you whenever you get frustrated or discouraged. “Whether this person is a financial professional or a trusted friend whose financial choices you admire, he or she can also offer tips to help you be savvier with your money,” Anastasio adds.

Don’t compare yourself to others

Nobody is perfect, and comparison, says Anastasio, is the thief of joy. “It can be difficult to avoid making assumptions about how others are faring financially based on our social-media intake, but just because a friend is posting about their exotic vacations or a neighbor seems to be doing one luxury home renovation after another does not mean they’re experiencing success while you’re not,” she says.

Find the joy

While making money technically involves work, it doesn’t have to be a miserable, nonstop hustle. “Part of healing our relationship to money is not only believing that we are capable of making it, but believing that pursuing money and pursuing happiness, balance, and peace are by no means mutually exclusive. In fact, they’re mutually constitutive,” says Rachel Rodgers, the author of We Should All Be Millionaires and the CEO of Hello Seven.

While it’s true that “money can’t always buy you happiness,” it can definitely fund things like travel, new classes, and other passions you may have, enriching your life, and it can ease stress and increase your freedom. So, as you work through your limiting beliefs and grow throughout your financial journey, Rodgers says to remember to have fun and enjoy yourself along the way.

Tune in to your spending emotions

“Track what you spend and how it makes you feel so you can decide what’s worth it to you and what’s not,” suggests Dunn. Pay attention to how purchases affect your mood in order to identify what Dunn refers to as your “happy and sad spends.” By understanding how your money choices impact your mental and emotional well-being, you can start to shift your spending toward what makes you truly happy — such as paying down debt, savoring a treat, investing in an experience, or helping another person. “This mindfulness approach will help you get even more joy from your happy spends,” Dunn says.

Focus on your goals, not the dollars

When it comes to priorities, money can help you get there but shouldn’t be your primary focus. Robin Saks Frankel, a personal finance expert at Forbes Advisor, says it’s important to take time to evaluate what your goals are, not just with money but also with your life as a whole. “If you want to have a partner and children, for example, or you want to make a career change, those goals cannot be attained or measured by how much money you do or don’t have in the bank,” she says.

Nicole is a freelance writer published in The New York Times, AARP, Woman’s Day, Parade, Men’s Journal, Wired, Emmy Magazine, and more. Keep up with her adventures on Twitter at @nicolepajer.

Source: Is Your Relationship With Money Holding You Back?

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Desjardins, Jeff (December 15, 2015). “Infographic: The Properties of Money”. The Money Project. Ret

Why Exercise Is More Important Than Weight Loss for a Longer Life

For better health and a longer life span, exercise is more important than weight loss, especially if you are overweight or obese, according to an interesting new review of the relationships between fitness, weight, heart health and longevity. The study, which analyzed the results of hundreds of previous studies of weight loss and workouts in men and women, found that obese people typically lower their risks of heart disease and premature death far more by gaining fitness than by dropping weight or dieting.

The review adds to mounting evidence that most of us can be healthy at any weight, if we are also active enough.

In other studies from Dr. Gaesser’s lab, however, overweight and obese people with significant health conditions including high blood pressure, poor cholesterol profiles, or insulin resistance, a marker of diabetes type 2, showed dramatic improvements in these conditions after starting to exercise, whether they lost weight or not.

Seeing these results, Dr Gaesser began to question whether physical fitness could allow overweight people to enjoy good metabolic health, regardless of their body mass number, and potentially live as long as people do. thinner – or even longer, if thin people were absent. of form.

So for the new study, which was published this month in iScience, he and his colleague Siddhartha Angadi, professor of education and kinesiology at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, began browsing the databases of research for previous studies related to diet, exercise, fitness. , metabolic health and longevity. They were particularly interested in meta-analyzes, which pool and analyze data from several previous studies, allowing researchers to look at the results of many more people than in most individual studies of weight loss or exercise. , which tend to be small in scale.

They resulted in over 200 relevant meta-analyzes and individual studies. Then they got down to seeing what all this research, involving tens of thousands of men and women, most of them obese, was saying about the relative benefits of losing weight or getting in shape for improving metabolism. and longevity. Indeed, they asked if someone who is heavy gets more health by losing weight or by getting up and moving.

The competition, they found, was not close. “Compared to the direct comparison, the magnitude of the benefits was much greater from the improvement in fitness than from the weight loss,” said Dr. Gaesser.

Overall, the studies they cite show that sedentary and obese men and women who start to exercise and improve their fitness can reduce their risk of premature death by 30% or more, even though their weight does not move. This improvement generally puts them at a lower risk of premature death than people considered to be of normal weight but in poor shape, said Dr Gaesser.

Source: Why Exercise Is More Important Than Weight Loss for a Longer Life – The New York Times

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Crypto Markets Wipe Out $150 Billion In Value Within Hours Of China’s Latest Bitcoin Ban What’s Next?

In yet another testament to the nascent market’s extreme volatility, cryptocurrency prices tumbled Friday morning after China’s central bank reiterated a sweeping ban on digital asset transactions, prompting some experts to warn the harsh rhetoric may encourage more nations to take similar measures, while others pointed out that prices have quickly recovered from such announcements in the past.

Key Facts

The value of the world’s cryptocurrencies tanked to a low of about $1.8 trillion by 7:15 a.m. EDT on Friday, falling roughly 9% and losing $188 billion in market value within just three hours of China’s announcement, according to crypto-data website CoinMarketCap.

The stark plunge wiped out virtually all of the gains since a global stock selloff on Monday triggered the crypto market’s worst decline in weeks, with top cryptocurrencies bitcoin, ether and Solana’s sol falling between 6% and 10% apiece Friday morning.

In a Friday note, analyst Adam Crisafulli of Vital Knowledge Media pointed out China’s announcement is “very consistent with its past rhetoric,” but still cautioned investors against buying at current prices because it’s likely Beijing’s measures could be adopted by other countries, with India among the biggest economies voicing hesitancy toward cryptocurrencies.

Meanwhile, Freddie Williams, of digital asset broker GlobalBlock, said he’s seen “little in the way of a knee-jerk reaction from clients” after the latest ban, adding the market could bounce back once the temporary fear subsides, as it did after Monday’s decline.

Williams further noted China has reiterated its so-called bitcoin ban several times over the years (most recently in May), but that it still hasn’t prevented institutions, particularly in the U.S., from bolstering cryptocurrency adoption at a staggering pace.

Crypto investor Mike Novogratz, a staunch bitcoin bull, also weighed in on Twitter, saying the world’s largest cryptocurrency may continue its struggle to once again break through a price of $45,000 but that the “secular story is as strong as ever.”

Key Background

Beginning in late 2017, a wave of early regulatory crackdowns sparked a nearly 80% crash in cryptocurrency prices and a years-long bear market. At the time, many countries, such as South Korea, started clamping down on initial coin offerings, the then booming crowdfunding technique used to raise funds by minting new cryptocurrencies.

That same year, China announced its sweeping ban on cryptocurrency transactions, saying financial institutions were barred from directly or indirectly providing trading, settlement or insurance services for virtual currency businesses—measures reiterated in the government’s Friday announcement. Officials also reissued the regulation in May while warning of additional rules to come. China introduced its first big regulatory action toward cryptocurrencies in 2013, when it banned bitcoin as a medium of transaction while recognizing it as a virtual property.

Tangent

Bitcoin and the broader cryptocurrency market soared during the pandemic in light of inflationary concerns and soaring institutional adoption, but prices ended a year-long rally in April, when Tesla—one of bitcoin’s biggest corporate investors—disclosed it sold a large chunk of its holdings and wouldn’t buy more until bitcoin mining consumed less energy. Markets have largely failed to recover since then amid China’s intensifying regulatory crackdown, with the value of the world’s cryptocurrencies still about 30% below its peak of nearly $2.6 trillion on May 12.

Chief Critic

“China’s authoritarian crackdown on crypto, including #Bitcoin, is a big opportunity for the U.S.,” Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), one of several lawmakers who’s introduced legislation to help soften potential cryptocurrency regulation in the U.S., said Friday on Twitter, adding: “It’s also a reminder of our huge structural advantage over China.”

Further Reading

China’s Central Bank Says All Cryptocurrency Transactions Are Illegal (Forbes)

Crypto Markets Suddenly Lose $250 Billion In Value As Evergrande Turmoil Pummels Bitcoin, Ethereum And Other Major Cryptocurrencies (Forbes)

China Cracks Down On Crypto Business, Saying ‘Speculative’ Trading ‘Seriously Infringing’ On Financial Order (Forbes)

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I’m a senior reporter at Forbes focusing on markets and finance. I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where I double-majored in business

Source: Crypto Markets Wipe Out $150 Billion In Value Within Hours Of China’s Latest ‘Bitcoin Ban’—What’s Next?

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4 Must-Know Recruitment And Hiring Trends For The Rest Of 2021

According to Visier, resignation rates hit a spike from July to September. Trend data for the remainder of 2021 shows that “the great resignation” is more pronounced this year than previous years. “It’s safe to say the ‘great resignation’ is already upon us, and businesses (particularly those in high tech and healthcare) will need to address voluntary turnover while they continue to grapple with post-pandemic recovery and return-to-office plans,” said Ian Cook, vice president of people analytics at Visier.

“While not all turnover is bad, it becomes a problem when organizations struggle to retain their very best talent, which negatively impacts the bottom line. It’s worth noting the 2021 “great resignation” marks a departure from previous high-turnover seasons due to key gender differences and high levels of burnout brought on by Covid-19.”

According to the Labor Department, four million people quit their jobs in April, 2021, and the job market as we know it is changing. In a quickly rebounding economy, a newly empowered workforce has clear conditions about health and sustainability for their offices. Studies show the primary reasons employees quit their jobs is when office health and sustainability expectations go unmet and they feel underappreciated and undervalued.

Recent research in the International Journal of Business Communication shows a trend from millennial employees putting more value on having respectful communication in the workplace over trendy fun perks. And this new trend is driving resiliency, engagement and job satisfaction. As we look at the remainder of 2021, there are additional key hiring trends that companies need to acknowledge, according to John Morgan, president of LHH—a global provider of talent and leadership development, career transition and coaching. He has identified four must-know trends to focus on as we close out 2021.

“The pandemic has accelerated behavior changes within the workplace and transformed the way we work,” Morgan said. “Employees are emerging from the pandemic with more confidence and new expectations. They are re-assessing and re-imagining their careers. How organizations and leaders respond will be critical to the health of their people and their companies. We’ve identified several key areas that companies should focus on to successfully adapt to the new world of work.”

1.Mental Well-Being

According to Morgan, one of the most important areas is mental well-being. “A lack of work-life balance, including no clear end to the working day, along with a lack of personal connection, have been cited as the most negative personal shifts when moving to a fully remote working model,” he said. “In fact, during the pandemic, four out of 10 adults in the United States have reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder. HR leaders must take deliberate actions to drive employee well-being.”

2.Redefining Productivity

The second area that organizations should focus on is re-defining productivity based on output and merit. “Over a third (69%) of employees feel they should be measured on results rather than hours worked,” Morgan said. “Leaders should focus on building a results-based culture that clearly outlines how employees will be measured and the frequency of assessments.”

3.Culture Building

The third area Morgan cites is culture building. “An overwhelming majority (74%) of employees want their managers to demonstrate a leadership style focused on empathy and a supportive attitude,” he insists. “Research findings have shown that team connection, trust and communication are the most positive professional shifts to come out of the pandemic. Management can work to build trust by frequently connecting with employees, helping manage their workloads and offering opportunities to develop new skills.”

4.Career Development

The fourth area that companies need to take into account, according to Morgan, is career development. “Employers must show that they have a genuine investment in their employees’ long-term careers. Offering opportunities for employees to up skill and re-skill will go a long way in driving employee satisfaction and loyalty.”

A Final Word

Now that “the great resignation” is in full swing and millions of workers rethink how they want to live their lives after the pandemic, they’re not willing to settle for less. Some want a job with more work options such as better benefits, more money, shorter commutes and more flexibility. And some simply are looking for a safer workplace. Michelle Wax, founder of the American Happiness Project, believes hiring practices should use “customization” in order to accommodate employee demands. “With a return to office, employees may feel threatened,” she said.

“The more you can allow employees to ‘customize’ their working environment, the better. Depending on personality, their family dynamic at home, and work styles can affect this ‘customization’—allowing team members to implement hybrid working, commuting on their own schedules around meetings to avoid rush hour, or allotting ‘no meeting’ time blocks for productivity and focus are all great solutions to allow for more flexibility and freedom.”

According to Wax, employees want to feel appreciated, trusted and important to the organization. She sees incorporating ways for team members to connect, recognize each other and continue to normalize the conversations around burnout, mental health and stress that are impacting everyone, allows employees to connect on a human level and realize they are not alone.“

As human beings, we crave community and connection with others on a deeper level than just work and this (most likely) has been lacking in the past 18 months” she said. “Doing this through town halls, employee-led open forums, mental health workshops or interactive activities in the office amplify and tap into the core human needs of connection and appreciation.”

Follow me on Twitter. Check out my website or some of my other work here.

I am the author of 40 nonfiction books, including #CHILL: TURN OFF YOUR JOB AND TURN ON YOUR LIFE (William Morrow) and the long-selling CHAINED TO THE DESK: A GUIDEBOOK

Source: 4 Must-Know Recruitment And Hiring Trends For The Rest Of 2021

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How Financial Services Can Make A New Home In The Cloud

Anyone who has bought a new home or leased a new apartment knows the amount of preparation and forethought that go into the decision and the move itself: budgeting, square footage, features you can’t live without, sorting out which of your possessions fit in the new space, ensuring there’s room for guests or additions to the family and, most importantly, knowing when you have outgrown the space.

Some of these considerations are similar to those we hear our financial institution (FI) clients ask themselves when they move to a proof of concept or a full-scale project on the cloud. How much capacity do they need, and how can they optimize their cloud real estate? Which of their legacy approaches do they need to leave behind? What is the business reason for moving in the first place?

By thinking of a cloud migration similarly to moving to a new house, FIs can ensure an effective and efficient transition.

Four steps to a successful cloud migration

Here are four ways FIs can ensure an optimal cloud migration that delivers benefits to employees, processes, clients and the organization itself.

Take a people-first approach.

It’s easy to get consumed by the technical aspects of a cloud migration: tooling, upgrades, depreciations, multi-cloud options, application programming interfaces (API), security, etc. However, FIs need to balance these technology concerns with the business changes the cloud entails and enables, both to reduce costs associated with the technology infrastructure and optimize revenue and profit margins.

For instance, which dedicated teams will stand up the service, and who will perform ongoing maintenance and support? How will new business applications and use cases be onboarded to achieve more value from the foundational cloud solution?

We worked with an FI client to implement a financial reporting solution that incorporated a cloud-native data management component. Keeping in mind business stakeholders’ needs for dashboards and reports that enable decision making based on a variety of key indicators, we introduced a mechanism to standardize the client data, which was expected to arrive in varying shapes and sizes from multiple locations. Without these standards, people would get confused by the meaning of the downstream analytics.

Another way businesses can put people first — while also reducing costs and cycle times — is to automate maintenance activities. One of the largest benefits of the cloud is the ability to create resources with API calls or embedded APIs in tools and software. This puts the focus on the business outcomes rather than the updates, themselves. By automating repetitive tasks, people can focus on value-added activities, which ensures the business is taking full advantage of the cloud.

Focus on delivering value and business outcomes.

Clearly define why you are moving to the cloud in the first place, with the help and agreement of key stakeholders. Document the business use case and continually update it to keep up with new businesses and technology circumstances, including business engagement, automation, data, value, architecture and visibility. FIs that understand and document cloud migration goals on a monthly, quarterly or semi-annual cadence are best positioned to adapt quickly to change.

It’s essential to understand that the simple act of moving to the cloud is not a guarantee of cost savings — in fact, many FIs find themselves initially increasing their tech investment. Additional measures can mitigate the cost increase, however. We worked with a large payments client that had partially moved to the cloud to reduce its costs by 50%. By moving fully to the cloud, it no longer needed to maintain its legacy environment, which not only reduced costs but also enabled additional value-added capabilities and innovation via cloud-based automation and AI.

FIs should also consider how business and market requirements may change over time. For example, we worked with a client that wanted to adopt many new sources of third-party data and incorporate new algorithms to find and retain new clients. By connecting the dots, the FI was able to make more meaningful decisions regarding product and service differentiation that led to a 25% increase in new clients and reduced attrition by 15%.

By clearly defining business use cases, FIs can better understand where cloud investments should be made, as well as when to stop, start and continue these investments. For instance, we worked with a top-10 FI to augment its data and cloud capabilities to achieve a more holistic view of its data to enable more consistent cross-selling and upselling of products and services across channels and achieve greater share of wallet.

The firm improved how it models customer profiles to enable highly-targeted marketing campaigns, while also improving the customer experience across the products and services portfolio. We then partnered with the FI to centralize the environment that allows internal business units to easily analyze and access data.

Apply cloud-native thinking to the new environment.

Many clients try to move all of their on-premises infrastructure to the cloud simultaneously. This is the equivalent of trying to move all of your studio apartment belongings to a house, where they are ill-fitting and stylistically inappropriate. To optimize cloud scalability, FIs must realize that architectural decisions for databases, firewalls and security that are used on-premises are often suboptimal when deployed on the cloud.

While businesses might think they’re avoiding disruption by using their on-premises approaches, doing so ultimately inflates costs, reduces scalability and eventually reduces business outcomes. Reviewing cloud-native tooling and capabilities results in a more cost-effective and secure solution overall. If the decision is a third-party tool, make sure it can be automated to avoid errors, additional cycle time and excess headcount to the cloud platform.

Go green while maintaining agility.

Environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) are three central factors in measuring the sustainability and societal impact of an investment in a company or business. FIs are not only measuring other companies’ ESG, but are also being measured on their own ESG compliance.

The growing demand for cloud infrastructure has led to a dramatic increase in energy consumption. For example, Google reported in 2019 that its data center electricity use had tripled in the last six years, a 20% annual rate of increase that far surpassed any other industry. Due to this increase and overall business sentiment on ESG, organizations are more deeply examining their energy demands. This is also due to the exponential growth of cloud service vendors’ data centers.

To achieve greener cloud computing, FIs must include low-power consumption as a requirement in their design, production and use of digital spaces. A green cloud solution such as Dynamic Voltage Frequency Scaling can reduce energy consumption and increase resource utilization, leading to energy savings, significant reductions in enterprise operational costs and greater business value.

FIs can more effectively and efficiently serve clients with a streamlined cloud migration that transitions people, processes and the organization itself in a way that optimizes business opportunities. By viewing cloud migration in a business light, they’ll ensure a bright future in their new cloud home.

To learn more visit the Banking Technology Solutions section of our website or contact us.

Nathan Greenhut is a Cognizant Client Solutions Executive. He has over 16 years of experience in cognitive systems, artificial intelligence, decision support systems, large-scale system modernization and transformation, and continuous improvement programs. His area of expertise is in banking and financial services. Nate recently led the delivery of a data warehouse and big data lake for a client to establish and augment the technological infrastructure, bringing siloed data together. Additionally, Nate developed and drove a conversational AI implementation on a development platform that included Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and IPSoft Amelia. Nate holds Bachelor of Science, Master of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees from Rutgers University and is a Certified Fraud Examiner. Currently, Nate is enrolled in Harvard’s Business Analytics Program. He can be reached at Nathan.Greenhut@cognizant.com

Source: How Financial Services Can Make A New Home In The Cloud

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How Executives and Entrepreneurs Can Achieve Financial Peace of Mind

Effective financial planning for executives and entrepreneurs is complex, dense and impossible to reduce to a single, easy-to-understand formula. However, the latest book from The Colony Group might be as close as you can get.

Effective financial planning for executives and entrepreneurs is complex, dense and impossible to reduce to a single, easy-to-understand formula. However, the latest book from The Colony Group, Personal Financial Planning for Executives and Entrepreneurs: The Path to Financial Peace of Mind, might be as close as you can get. Not only do the authors offer incredibly relevant and easily digestible advice, but they also show exactly how to implement their suggestions (and avoid common missteps) through the story of David and Abby, effectively turning what could be a very dry topic into a legitimate page-turner.

Last week, three of the book’s 11 authors—Jeffrey T. Craig, senior wealth advisor for The Colony Group, Nadine Gordon Lee, president of The Colony Group Family Office and managing director of The Colony Group’s Metro NY Offices, and Michael J. Nathanson, chief executive officer and chair of The Colony Group—sat down with Worth to discuss the importance of goals-based financial planning, how to achieve financial peace of mind and why reaching financial independence can be even more complicated for business executives and entrepreneurs.

“It’s imperative to do some planning,” Craig explained. “We see in the book what happens, what can happen, when there’s no planning involved. With this group of people, executives and entrepreneurs, they generally have wealth that’s tied to the success of their companies. So, they need to plan for multiple things.”

From comprehending and negotiating executive employment agreements to understanding the implications of certain selections on IRS forms, Personal Financial Planning for Executives and Entrepreneurs gives readers all of the practical tools and information necessary to maximize rewards, minimize risk and everything in between.

And while that may sound tedious, The Colony Group authors make the subject not only approachable, but also relatable and interesting, by weaving in the cautionary tale of a fictitious couple, David and Abby, who make all kinds of financial mistakes—almost all of which could have been avoided if they had engaged in some goals-based planning with a trusted financial advisor.

“If you have a heart condition, you need to immerse yourself in cardiology; you need to work with cardiologists, not neurologists,” Nathanson explained. “Ultimately, it’s the same thing when it comes to the science of financial planning. If you are an executive or an entrepreneur, you need to immerse yourself in planning around executives and entrepreneurs, not something generic and not something focused on other people or people who have different circumstances.

Going back to my medical analogy: If you have a heart issue, by all means, see your general practitioner, and your general practitioner will guide you to the right experts. But ultimately, you have to understand this concept of personal financial planning. It should be customized for you, the individual.”

Emily Cegielski

 

By: Emily Cegielski

 

Source: Personal Financial Planning Guide for Executives – Worth

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How the New Child Tax Credit Is Helping Parent Entrepreneurs

Eligible parents are slated to receive their monthly child tax credit payments starting Thursday. How you use the money could affect your business or help you start one.

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 expanded the tax credit score to $3,600 per baby underneath the age of six and to $3,000 for these aged six to 17. It is in impact only for 2021, although Biden has advocated making it making it everlasting.

Half of the funds might be despatched to folks in installments via December. For instance, a mum or dad with one baby underneath six would obtain $300 per 30 days. Dad and mom can declare the remainder upon submitting taxes for 2021–unless they choose out to allow them to obtain all the cash once they file.

Madilynn A. Beck, founder and CEO of Palm Springs, California-based Fountful–an app that gives “life-style providers” like manicures or DJ appearances on demand–is contemplating that strategy. Beck says that if she meets her enterprise targets this 12 months, Fountful might generate sufficient income to considerably enhance her tax burden come subsequent April. “I am protecting my head above water now,” she says. “What occurs if I’m absolutely underwater then and do not have a life vest?”

The kid tax credit score will have an effect on individuals at a “wide selection” of earnings ranges, says Daniel Milan, managing accomplice at Cornerstone Monetary Providers primarily based in Southfield, Michigan. For aspiring entrepreneurs, it’d offset childcare prices for just a few months whereas they work on getting a enterprise off the bottom. For others, the cash might simply assist alleviate day by day monetary stress.

That is the case for Ruby Taylor, CEO and founding father of Baltimore-based Monetary Pleasure Faculty, which supplies monetary literacy training and produces a card sport that teaches the topic to younger individuals. In April 2021, she and her spouse’s monetary scenario modified consequently of the pandemic however they nonetheless needed to cowl issues like a brand new roof and fence for his or her home.

Their financial savings account dwindled, and Taylor’s nervousness spiked, leading to her occurring blood stress and nervousness treatment. The additional $500 the mom of two expects to obtain means the couple can construct up their security web once more, taking the stress off each of them. “When she’s not pressured, I am not pressured,” Taylor says. It “will assist the enterprise not directly, as a result of I may be extra productive.”

Guardian entrepreneurs face the extra problem of staying current with spouses and kids, says James Oliver Jr., founder and CEO of ParentPreneur Basis, an Atlanta-based nonprofit that helps Black mum or dad founders financially and with an internet neighborhood (of which Beck and Taylor are each members).

 Month-to-month funds “may very well be the distinction of sending the youngsters to summer season camp, shopping for further groceries, taking a bit trip, or taking the youngsters to the amusement park as soon as a month to assist the household bond,” he says.

Source: How the New Child Tax Credit Is Helping Parent Entrepreneurs | Inc.com

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Critics:

The Internal Revenue Service today launched two new online tools designed to help families manage and monitor the advance monthly payments of Child Tax Credits under the American Rescue Plan. These two new tools are in addition to the Non-filer Sign-up Tool, announced last week, which helps families not normally required to file an income tax return to quickly register for the Child Tax Credit. The new Child Tax Credit Eligibility Assistant allows families to answer a series of questions to quickly determine whether they qualify for the advance credit.

The Child Tax Credit Update Portal allows families to verify their eligibility for the payments and if they choose to, unenroll, or opt out from receiving the monthly payments so they can receive a lump sum when they file their tax return next year. This secure, password-protected tool is available to any eligible family with internet access and a smart phone or computer. Future versions of the tool planned in the summer and fall will allow people to view their payment history, adjust bank account information or mailing addresses and other features. A Spanish version is also planned.

The Science Behind Grilling the Perfect Steak

Summer has arrived, and it’s time to fire up the backyard grill. Though many of us are trying to eat less beef for environmental reasons, it’s hard to resist indulging in an occasional steak — and you’ll want to make the most of the experience.

So, what’s the best way to grill that steak? Science has some answers. Meat scientists (many of them, unsurprisingly, in Texas) have spent whole careers studying how to produce the tenderest, most flavorful beef possible. Much of what they’ve learned holds lessons only for cattle producers and processors, but a few of their findings can guide backyard grillmasters in their choice of meat and details of the grilling process.

Let’s start with the choice of meat. Every experienced cook knows that the lightly used muscles of the loin, along the backbone, have less connective tissue and thus give tenderer results than the hard-working muscles of the leg. And they know to look for steaks with lots of marbling, the fat deposits between muscle fibers that are a sign of high-quality meat. “If you have more marbling, the meat will be tenderer, juicier, and it will have richer flavor,” says Sulaiman Matarneh, a meat scientist at Utah State University who wrote about muscle biology and meat quality in the 2021 Annual Review of Animal Biosciences.

From a flavor perspective, in fact, the differences between one steak and the next are mostly a matter of fat content: the amount of marbling and the composition of the fatty acid subunits of the fat molecules. Premium cuts like ribeye have more marbling and are also richer in oleic acid, an especially tasty fatty acid — “the one fatty acid that frequently correlates with positive eating experience,” says Jerrad Legako, a meat scientist at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. Sirloin, in contrast, has less oleic acid and more fatty acid types that can yield less appealing, fishy flavor hints during cooking.

That fatty acid difference also plays out in a big decision that consumers make when they buy a steak: grain-fed or grass-fed beef? Grain-fed cattle — animals that live their final months in a feedlot eating a diet rich in corn and soybeans — have meat that’s higher in oleic acid. Animals that spend their whole life grazing on pasture have a higher proportion of omega-3 fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids that break down into smaller molecules with fishy and gamy flavors. Many consumers prefer to buy grass-fed beef anyway, either to avoid the ethical issues of feedlots or because they like that gamy flavor and leaner meat.

The biggest influence on the final flavor of that steak, though, is how you cook it. Flavorwise, cooking meat accomplishes two things. First, the heat of the grill breaks the meat’s fatty acids into smaller molecules that are more volatile — that is, more likely to become airborne. These volatiles are responsible for the steak’s aroma, which accounts for the majority of its flavor. Molecules called aldehydes, ketones and alcohols among that breakdown mix are what we perceive as distinctively beefy.

The second way that cooking builds flavor is through browning, a process that chemists call the Maillard reaction. This is a fantastically complex process in which amino acids and traces of sugars in the meat react at high temperatures to kick off a cascade of chemical changes that result in many different volatile end products.

Most important of these are molecules called pyrazines and furans, which contribute the roasty, nutty flavors that steak aficionados crave. The longer and hotter the cooking, the deeper into the Maillard reaction you go and the more of these desirable end products you get — until eventually, the meat starts to char, producing undesirable bitter, burnt flavors.

The challenge for the grillmaster is to achieve the ideal level of Maillard products at the moment the meat reaches the desired degree of doneness. Here, there are three variables to play with: temperature, time and the thickness of the steak.

Thin steaks cook through more quickly, so they need a hot grill to generate enough browning in the short time available, says Chris Kerth, a meat scientist at Texas A&M University. Kerth and his colleagues have studied this process in the lab, searing steaks to precise specifications and feeding the results into a gas chromatograph, which measures the amount of each volatile chemical produced.

Kerth found, as expected, that thin, half-inch steaks cooked at relatively low temperatures have mostly the beefy flavors characteristic of fatty acid breakdown, while higher temperatures also produce a lot of the roasty pyrazines that result from the Maillard reaction. So if your steak is thin, crank up that grill — and leave the lid open so that the meat cooks through a little more slowly. That will give you time to build a complex, beefy-roasty flavor.

And to get the best sear on both sides, flip the meat about a third of the way through the expected cook time, not halfway — that’s because as the first side cooks, the contracting muscle fibers drive water to the uncooked side. After you flip, this water cools the second side so it takes longer to brown, Kerth’s team found.

When the scientists tested thicker, 1.5-inch steaks, the opposite problem happened: The exterior would burn unpleasantly before the middle finished cooking. For these steaks, a moderate grill temperature gave the best mix of volatiles. And sure enough, when Kerth’s team tested their steaks on actual people, they found that diners gave lower ratings to thick steaks grilled hot and fast. Diners rated the other temperatures and cooking times as all similar to each other, but thick steaks cooked at moderate temperatures won out by a nose.

That might seem odd, given that steakhouses often boast of their thick slabs of prime beef and the intense heat of their grills — exactly the combination Kerth’s study found least desirable. It works because the steakhouses use a two-step cooking process: First, they sear the meat on the hot grill, and then they finish cooking in a moderate oven. “That way, they get the degree of doneness to match the sear that they want,” says Kerth. Home cooks can do the same by popping their seared meat into a 350°F oven until it reaches their desired doneness.

The best degree of doneness, of course, is largely a matter of personal preference — but science has something to say here, too. Meat left rare, says Kerth, doesn’t receive enough heat to break down its fatty acids to generate beefy flavors. And once you go past medium, you lose some of the “bloody” flavors that come with lightly cooked meat. “A lot of people, myself included, like a little bit of bloody note with the brown pyrazines and Maillard compounds,” says Kerth. “It has a bigger flavor.” For those reasons, he advises, “I wouldn’t go any lower than medium rare or certainly any higher than medium. Then you just start losing a lot of the flavor.”

Kerth has one more piece of advice for home cooks: Watch the meat closely when it’s on the grill! “When you’re at those temperatures, a lot happens in a short period of time,” he says. “You start getting a lot of chemical reactions happening very, very quickly.” That’s the scientific basis for what every experienced griller has learned from (literally) bitter experience: It’s easy to burn the meat if you’re not paying attention.

Happy scientifically informed grilling!

Source: The Science Behind Grilling the Perfect Steak | Innovation | Smithsonian Magazine

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Critics:

Grilling is a form of cooking that involves dry heat applied to the surface of food, commonly from above, below or from the side. Grilling usually involves a significant amount of direct, radiant heat, and tends to be used for cooking meat and vegetables quickly. Food to be grilled is cooked on a grill (an open wire grid such as a gridiron with a heat source above or below), using a cast iron/frying pan, or a grill pan (similar to a frying pan, but with raised ridges to mimic the wires of an open grill).

Heat transfer to the food when using a grill is primarily through thermal radiation. Heat transfer when using a grill pan or griddle is by direct conduction. In the United States, when the heat source for grilling comes from above, grilling is called broiling. In this case, the pan that holds the food is called a broiler pan, and heat transfer is through thermal radiation.

Direct heat grilling can expose food to temperatures often in excess of 260 °C (500 °F). Grilled meat acquires a distinctive roast aroma and flavor from a chemical process called the Maillard reaction. The Maillard reaction only occurs when foods reach temperatures in excess of 155 °C (310 °F).

Studies have shown that cooking beef, pork, poultry, and fish at high temperatures can lead to the formation of heterocyclic amines, benzopyrenes, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which are carcinogens. Marination may reduce the formation of these compounds. Grilling is often presented as a healthy alternative to cooking with oils, although the fat and juices lost by grilling can contribute to drier food.

References:

  • AngryBBQ. Not sure what about barbecue makes Mike and Jannah Haas angry, but they have a nice little blog.
  • Barbecue Master. Based in NC barbecue country, Cyndi Allison has been writing about barbecue and teaching it for more than a decade. Check out the links to her other websites and blogs.
  • Barbecues & Grilling at about.com. Derrick Riches is a self taught cook who has learned a lot and he passes it along in this large and deep reference.
  • Barbecuen. Articles and ideas on everything from grills to cooking elk.
  • BroBBQ. A blog of recipes, product testing, fun by Jack Thompson.
  • BBQDryRubs. The site is a nice hobby site from David Somerville covering more than rubs. He focuses on Weber gear and the sausage section is good.
  • BBQ FAQ. An astonishing compilation of wisdom from scores of serious cue’ers. The only problem is that the mailing list of participants has been dissolved so you can no longer sign up. Also, a lot of the links are broken. Still, the knowledge there is timeless.
  • BBQ Sauce Reviews. He likes sauce. Some better than others. See if you fave is on his 5-star list.
  • Braai 4 Heritage. In South Africa they call it braai, and everyone barbecues. They even have a National Braai Day!
  • BBQ Specialties. A nice little blog with recipes.
  • Cooking Outdoors. Gary House is fearless as he cooks everything on his grills, even pies and bread. There are sections on barbecue, cast iron cooking, Dutch oven, fire pit, and foil cooking. Lots of recipes well illustrated with photos.
  • Food Fire Friends. Mark Jenner’s site explores many aspects of outdoor cooking, including recipes, techniques, and product guides, as he works his way toward mastering cooking with live
    fire.
  • GrateTV. This frequent video show stars Jack Waiboer, a talented BBQ cook and competitor based in SC, and co-host Bill West (above). They teach tips, technique, tools, toys, secret ingredients, beer drinking, and answer viewer email questions. They know their stuff, and teach it with a smile. That’s them above, and one of the gadgets they feature.
  • GrillGirl. Robyn Medlin Lindars knows how to cook, and she can do it outdoors. She blogs about her adventures and recipes. Her specialty is making barbecue fun for women. She also cooks on her sailboat! Fun stuff!
  • A Hamburger Today. Gently patted together by Robyn Lee, this site is made of prime restaurant commentary, stuffed with burger lore, topped with good humor, and held together with beautiful drippy photographs. She is aided by a handful of burgerphiles who know their stuff.
  • Home BBQ. Message boards that discuss just about anything barbecue.
  • The Ingredient Store.com. Home of the FAB injections and marinades. FAB is the stuff most of the brisket champs inject (into the meat, not themselves).
  • Live Fire Online. Curt McAdams can cook and takes nice pix in Ohio. He focuses on barbecuing and grilling, but often digresses on local foods, markets, baking, and dining.
  • Mark Stevens. I met Mark in one of the online message boards and have learned a thing or two from him and his tips. You can too. His home made website has great links, and some good recipes and tips.
  • Naked Whiz. This may be the most inaccurate and inappropriate name for a website on the net, but don’t let it deter you. This is the go-to site if you have any questions about charcoal, how it is made, and what is the best.
  • Nibble Me This. Chris Grove is in Knoxville and he works his Big Green Egg and other cookers hard. He has also written a book about kamados.
  • Grillocracy. Our lead writer Clint Cantwell’s personal BBQ and grilling blog.
  • Patio Daddio BBQ. John Dawson brings his analytical IT mind to the patio and tests new techniques, equipment, and recipes with an unusual thoroughness and sharp sense of humor. He also competes. This is one of my faves.
  • Postcards from Scotsylvania. Scot Murphy is a very smart, witty, fella, and a pretty good cook too. His blog covers barbecue, gardening, politics, comics, and “ruminations about the universe, occasional whining, snarkiness, stuff like that.”
  • Real Truck. Accessories and gear for your truck.
  • She Smoke. Julie Reinhardt is the author of the book She-Smoke, a Backyard Barbecue Book, and co-owner of Smokin’ Pete’s BBQ in Seattle. This blog is an extension of the book, the restaurant, and how she rolls with two kids in tow.

Why Wall Street Is Afraid of Government-Backed Digital Dollar

Imagine Imagine logging on to your own account with the U.S. Federal Reserve. With your laptop or phone, you could zap cash anywhere instantly. There’d be no middlemen, no fees, no waiting for deposits or payments to clear.

That vision sums up the appeal of the digital dollar, the dream of futurists and the bane of bankers. It’s not the Bitcoin bros and other cryptocurrency fans pushing the disruptive idea but America’s financial and political elite. Fed Chair Jerome Powell promises fresh research and a set of policy questions for Congress to ponder this summer. J. Christopher Giancarlo, a former chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, is rallying support through the nonprofit Digital Dollar Project, a partnership with consulting giant Accenture Plc. To perpetuate American values such as free enterprise and the rule of law, “we should modernize the dollar,” he recently told a U.S. Senate banking subcommittee.

For now the dollar remains the premier global reserve currency and preferred legal tender for international trade and financial transactions. But a new flavor of cryptocurrency could pose a threat to that dominance, which is part of the reason the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston has been working with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on developing prototypes for a digital-dollar platform.

Other governments, notably China’s, are ahead in digitizing their currencies. In these nations, regulators worry that the possibilities for fraud are multiplying as more individuals embrace cryptocurrency. Steven Mnuchin, former President Donald Trump’s treasury secretary, said he saw no immediate need for a digital dollar. His successor, Janet Yellen, has expressed interest in studying it. Support for a virtual greenback cuts across party lines in Congress, which will have a say on whether it becomes reality.

At a hearing in June, Senators Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, and John Kennedy, a Louisiana Republican, signaled openness to the idea. Warren and other Democrats stressed the potential of the digital dollar to offer free services to low-income families who now pay high banking fees or are shut out of the system altogether.

Kennedy and fellow Republicans see a financial equivalent of the space race that pitted the U.S. against the Soviet Union—a battle for prestige, power, and first-mover advantage. This time the adversary is China, which announced this month that more than 10 million citizens are now eligible to participate in ongoing trials.

The strongest opposition to a virtual dollar will come from U.S. banks. They rely on $17 trillion in deposits to fund much of their core business, profiting from the difference between what they pay in interest to account holders and what they charge for loans. Banks also earn billions of dollars annually from overdraft, ATM, and account maintenance fees. By creating a digital currency, the Federal Reserve would in effect be competing with banks for customers.

In a recent blog post, Greg Baer, president of the Bank Policy Institute, which represents the industry, warned that homebuyers, businesses, and other customers would find it harder and more expensive to borrow money if the Fed were to infringe on the private sector’s historical central role in finance. “The Federal Reserve would gain extraordinary power,” wrote Baer, a former assistant treasury secretary in the Clinton administration.

Some economists warn that a digital dollar could destabilize the banking system. The federal government offers bank depositors $250,0000 in insurance, a program that’s successfully prevented bank runs since the Great Depression. But in a 2008-style financial panic, depositors might with a single click pull all their savings out of banks and convert them into direct obligations of the U.S. government.

“In a crisis, this may actually make matters worse,” says Eswar Prasad, a professor at Cornell University and the author of a book on digital currencies that will be published in September. Whether a virtual dollar is even necessary remains up for debate. For large companies, cross-border interbank payments are already fast, limiting the appeal of digital currencies. Early adopters of Bitcoin may have won an investment windfall as its value soared, but its volatility makes it a poor substitute for a reliable government-backed currency such as the dollar.

Yet there’s a new kind of crypto, called stablecoin, that could pose a threat to the dollar’s dominance. Similar to the other digital currencies, it’s essentially a string of code tracked and authenticated via an online ledger. But it has a crucial difference from Bitcoin and its ilk: Its value is pegged to a sovereign currency like the dollar, so it offers stability as well as privacy.

In June 2019, Facebook Inc. announced it was developing a stablecoin called Libra ( since renamed Diem). The social media giant’s 2.85 billion active users worldwide represent a huge test market. “That was a game changer,” Prasad says. “That served as a catalyst for a lot of central banks.”

Regulators also have concerns about consumer protection. Stablecoin is only as stable as the network of private participants who manage it on the web. Should something go wrong, holders could find themselves empty-handed. That prospect places pressure on governments to come up with their own alternatives.

Although the Fed has been studying the idea of a digital dollar since at least 2017, crucial details, including what role private institutions will play, remain unresolved. In the Bahamas, the only country with a central bank digital currency, authorized financial institutions are allowed to offer e-wallets for handling sand dollars, the virtual counterpart to the Bahamian dollar.

If depositors flocked to the virtual dollar, banks would need to find another way to fund their loans. Advocates of a digital dollar float the possibility of the Fed lending to banks so they could write loans. To help banks preserve deposits, the government could also set a ceiling on how much digital currency citizens can hold. In the Bahamas the amount is capped at $8,000.

Lev Menand, an Obama administration treasury adviser, cautions against such compromises, saying the priority should be offering unfettered access to a central bank digital currency, or CBDC. Menand, who now lectures at Columbia Law School, says that because this idea would likely require the passage of legislation, Congress faces a big decision: to create “a robust CBDC or a skim milk sort of product that has been watered down as a favor to big banks.”

By: Christopher Condon

Source: Cryptocurrency: Why Wall Street Is Afraid of Government-Backed Digital Dollar – Bloomberg

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Critics:

Wall Street is warming up to the idea that the next big disruptive force on the horizon is central bank digital currencies, even though the Federal Reserve likely remains a few years away from developing its own.

Led by countries as large as China and as small as the Bahamas, digital money is drawing stronger interest as the future of an increasingly cashless society. A digital dollar would resemble cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin or ethereum in some limited respects, but differ in important ways.

Rather than be a tradable asset with wildly fluctuating prices and limited use, the central bank digital currency would function more like dollars and have widespread acceptance. It also would be fully regulated and under a central authority.

Myriad questions remain before an institution as large as the Fed will wade in. But the momentum is building around the world. As the Fed and other central banks work through those logistical issues, Wall Street is growing in anticipation over what the future will hold.

“The race towards Digital Money 2.0 is on,” Citigroup said in a report. “Some have framed it as a new Space Race or Digital Currency Cold War. In our view, it doesn’t have to be a zero sum game — there’s a lot of room for the overall digital pie to grow.”

There, however, has been at least the semblance of a race, and China is perceived as taking the early lead. With the launch of a digital yuan last year, some fear that the edge China has ultimately could undermine the dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency. Though China said that is not its objective, a Bank of America report notes that issuing digital dollars would let the U.S. currency “remain highly competitive … relative to other currencies.”

References:

9 Ways Empathy Helps With Inner Growth

Empathy can be best defined as the trait or skill of understanding, sharing, recognizing, and even feeling the emotions, thoughts, and experiences of those around you or those who you see. It is often a crucial skill in developing healthy relationships, moral or ethical decision-making, prosocial behavior, and compassionate attitudes.

Simply put, empathy denotes an ability to walk in the shoes of another person. It can be a complex trait to develop, and some people may believe that empathy is harmful. After all, feeling the pain of others can become tiring. But in moderation, this skill is a fantastic way to improve yourself while helping others. Here are nine ways empathy helps with inner growth.

1.    Empathy Reduces Stress

You may have noticed people who are empathetic seem to experience less stress. Considering how research has shown that stress accuses all sorts of diseases, it raises the question – how does empathy help?

  • It teaches emotional regulation skills.
  • Relating to others in positive ways teaches
  • It engages in our ability to control and handle our emotions in a healthy manner.
  • It helps us recognize where and when we may be feeling stressed or emotional, thanks to observing and empathizing with our loved ones.

Empathy can be best defined as the trait or skill of understanding, sharing, recognizing, and even feeling the emotions, thoughts, and experiences of those around you or those who you see. It is often a crucial skill in developing healthy relationships, moral or ethical decision-making, prosocial behavior, and compassionate attitudes.

Simply put, empathy denotes an ability to walk in the shoes of another person. It can be a complex trait to develop, and some people may believe that empathy is harmful. After all, feeling the pain of others can become tiring. But in moderation, this skill is a fantastic way to improve yourself while helping others. Here are nine ways empathy helps with inner growth.

As you can imagine, this helps you become an emotionally more stable person in the long run – indeed a fundamental thing to any future growth and maturation you wish to experience!

2.    It Improves Your Ability To Communicate

Communication isn’t as simple as an exchange of words. After all, think about the many times you find yourself constantly misunderstood, no matter how hard you try. As it turns out, empathy can teach you how to express yourself better! This outcome is because:

  • You learn how to see, feel, and think from the other person’s perspective.
  • You’ll better understand how your words and thoughts may be interpreted by others.
  • You can tailor your expression of your thoughts and emotions to the individual you’re communicating with, so they can understand you better.
  • You can limit misunderstandings and miscommunications by seeing how the other person would process information from their point of view.

Indeed, you may notice that all of these positive benefits first require you to listen better and understand the other person before you can explain yourself in a way that truly resonates with them. This is why empathy is so important!

3.    It’s Good For General Survival

Historically speaking, being social creatures is the critical reason for our species’ continued survival – and despite how much has changed socially, this hasn’t changed on a fundamental level! Empathy allows us to:

  • Pick up on nonverbal cues that indicate something is amiss
  • Tune in immediately to a situation the second someone starts acting strangely
  • React appropriately to a life-threatening situation you haven’t seen yet, just from the behavior of others in the area
  • Pay attention to abnormal atmospheres or facial features that suggest something is wrong

These examples may sound dramatic, but they can be applicable in all sorts of places – from recognizing when a bar fight is about to erupt to paying attention to a loved one who seems to be quieter than usual.

No matter which way you slice it, empathy may be the critical thing that saves you or your loved one’s life.

4.    It’s Good For Your Health

How are empathy and your physical health related to each other? They’re more intimately intertwined than you might think. Various studies have shown a positive correlation between the ability to handle stress – a source of many health issues – and high levels of empathy.

This is because of empathy:

  • It encourages us to form close bonds that form the basis of our support network.
  • Teaches us how to form healthy coping mechanisms when trying to manage stress.
  • It assists us in paying attention to our bodies as an extension of learning how to observe those around us.
  • Reduces depression and anxiety levels as we communicate and empathize with our loved ones.
  • It helps us create healthy boundaries so we can avoid picking up second-hand stress and negative emotions.
  • Encourages positive thinking and mindsets via reconnecting to the world around us.

This ultimately leads to a better psychological and physiological state, resulting in a much better health and immune system. Not to mention, it’s easier to take care of yourself when you’re mentally and emotionally more stable and healthy!

5.    It Can Guide Your Moral Compass

Normally, we learn empathy and emotional regulation in childhood – something that research has shown is important for our development. But that doesn’t mean our journey stops there!

As we grow older and meet new people, we must continue to learn and adapt to the changing world around us – and in this aspect, empathy is an essential tool. For example, it:

  • It helps us re-evaluate our core values and morals
  • Shapes and guides how we care for others and how we expect to be cared for
  • It shows us how to take care of those around us
  • Encourages us to strive for a better understanding of those we love

In other words, empathy can actually help us reshape our foundational understanding of the world and our relationship with it. This is important, as it can lead to us growing both mentally, emotionally, and spiritually as we strive to meet the needs of our loved ones!

6.    It Connects You To Others

Ever found yourself just sitting there, unsure as to how to respond to someone else? Empathy is actually a vital and helpful tool in this regard!

How so? Research has shown that empathy is responsible for helping us better understand and respond to a loved one’s actions – both in the present and for potential future actions. Here are a few ways how it mentally preps you and encourages you to form positive relationships:

  • It helps us feel and better understand what the other person is experiencing.
  • Teaches us how to reciprocate and make the other person feel seen and heard.
  • It assists us in forming and nurturing intimate bonds where both sides can feel safe and vulnerable.
  • It encourages us to listen to those around us truly and really take the time to be there for them.

The final result? We end up learning not just about experiences we couldn’t otherwise have possibly gotten on our own, but also will likely end up with a close and personal relationship with the other person!

Over time, you will likely find that this sort of behavior cultivates deep, intimate connections that can bring you a sense of peace and stability – an incredibly vital foundation for any further inner growth you wish to achieve.

7.    It Helps Prosocial Behavior

We are only human, so it’s natural to want close, intimate, and meaningful bonds. In fact, it is hardwired into our very DNA – we wouldn’t have gotten this far without that desire to bond with those around us, after all. As you can imagine, this means that the ability to empathize is crucial. This is because it:

  • It teaches us how to become more compassionate and caring
  • It’s crucial to our ability to communicate and connect with others
  • It encourages us to care for and help each other
  • Assists us in being kind and understanding to others around us
  • It tries to make us see things from a different point of view

From there, we then learn how to adjust our behavior and actions to ensure we are doing our best to love and care for those around us. This can then ultimately lead us to create the relationships so fundamental to our emotional and mental wellbeing!

8.    It Fights Burnout

There is some irony in how, in an increasingly connected world, we feel even more lonely. And with that loneliness comes all sorts of mental health struggles and burnout as we struggle with work on our own. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

A study has shown that those workers who are empathetic actually deal with less burnout – something you might find interesting! Here’s how empathy can help you achieve these outcomes:

  • It guides us in how we can communicate with those around us.
  • Assists in the development of soft skills that are crucial to handling conflicts with others.
  • It teaches us how to ensure both sides feel seen and heard.
  • It helps us connect and form meaningful relationships with others.
  • Encourages us to create social networks that can inversely support us in our times of need.
  • Promotes positive thinking as we pull from the experiences of others around us.

With the development of better communication and conflict-management skills, you may find yourself becoming a more emotionally mature and understanding person as you rise against the challenges life throws at you. And it’s all thanks to empathy!

9.    It Improves Your Work

With just how helpful it is when you’re trying to both listen and to be heard, it’s no wonder that empathy forms a core aspect of communication – a vital skill in any team-based work. But there’s more to this than just better communication. Empathy also helps:

  • Negotiating with others to create a solution that meets everyone’s needs and desires
  • Encourages teamwork when trouble-shooting issues
  • Creates an environment of respect and trust
  • It makes people feel valued and involved in any project
  • It makes for a smoother transition and workflow, as you are already paying attention and anticipating the quirks and workstyles of those around you

As you can imagine, these aspects are all super helpful when you’re working on any team-based project. And these skills are transferable too! You can just as easily apply these positive benefits to both your work and your personal life and watch your relationships become better for it! Final Thoughts On Some Ways Empathy Helps With Inner Growth

Empathy is a valuable trait, yet it may seem like it is rapidly declining in today’s world. This can seem discouraging, and some may even worry that being empathetic may open them up to feelings of pain and discomfort.

The lucky truth is that this is not the case. Empathy is crucial for your inner growth and can actually make you stronger, healthier, and more resilient. If you struggle with developing empathy for others, you can speak to a mental health professional for help.

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Source: 9 Ways Empathy Helps With Inner Growth | Power of Positivity

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Critics:

Empathy is the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within their frame of reference, that is, the capacity to place oneself in another’s position. Definitions of empathy encompass a broad range of emotional states. Types of empathy include cognitive empathy, emotional (or affective) empathy, somatic, and spiritual empathy.

Empathy is generally divided into two major components:

Affective empathy

Affective empathy, also called emotional empathy: the capacity to respond with an appropriate emotion to another’s mental states. Our ability to empathize emotionally is based on emotional contagion: being affected by another’s emotional or arousal state.

Cognitive empathy

Cognitive empathy: the capacity to understand another’s perspective or mental state. The terms social cognition, perspective-taking, theory of mind, and mentalizing are often used synonymously, but due to a lack of studies comparing theory of mind with types of empathy, it is unclear whether these are equivalent.

Although measures of cognitive empathy include self-report questionnaires and behavioral measures, a 2019 meta analysis found only a negligible association between self report and behavioral measures, suggesting that people are generally not able to accurately assess their own cognitive empathy abilities.

Somatic empathy

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