Tag Archives: motivation

5 Ways to Impact Someone through Kindness

It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life and to overlook the need for help that’s all around us. When we open our eyes and focus our minds on love and empathy, we see opportunities to make an impact in someone else’s life.

Love can change the world. Here are 5 ways to make an impact in your community and improve the lives of others.

Practice Daily Kindness

Practice Daily Kindness

Daily kindness begins with a smile. As you encounter others, put on a smile and say hello. We never know the struggles that a specific person is going through and something as small as a smile and a warm greeting can change someone’s outlook. You’ll find that smiling is contagious. When you smile at someone, they automatically smile back and you are immediately rewarded for your efforts.

Provide a Warm Meal

Warm Meal for Kindness

There are times when our friends and neighbors need help but don’t feel comfortable asking. They may be sick, stressed out, or having financial difficulties. When you sense this, give them a call asking if you can bring over a hot meal. Give them a day’s notice so that they can enjoy the day knowing that they don’t have to rush home to cook.

Anonymous Acts of Kindness

Kindness with Note

Brightening someone else’s day without them knowing who did it can make a big difference in their lives. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Leave a note of encouragement on a random car in a parking lot.
  2. Pay for the person behind you in a drive through.
  3. When getting gas, leave an envelope with $10 inside and a note saying “Please accept this gift, I hope it brightens your day.”
  4. When eating at a diner, tip your waitress the same amount as the bill.
  5. Put money in parking meters for someone whose time has expired.
  6. Mow  your neighbor’s yard when they’re out-of-town.
  7. Leave unused coupons next to items on the shelf.

Volunteer in your Community


There are many organizations that are impacting people’s lives in a positive way. By volunteering, these organizations can continue providing assistance and you gain a sense of satisfaction by helping. A side benefit is that you also pick up new skills that are valuable in other areas of your life. Can’t think of places to volunteer? Here are a few ideas:

  • Local churches – Look for local churches or synagogues that need help.
  • Habitat for Humanity – Help build houses for families in need and learn valuable construction skills.
  • Food Pantries – Local food pantries organize food drives and feed hungry residents in your neighborhood. FoodPantries.org lets you search for one near you.
  • YMCA – Here you can volunteer to help both children and adults, strengthen your leadership skills, or pick up some valuable teaching experience by tutoring literacy courses.

Change Someone’s Life by Gifting Your Talents

Kindness with your Talents

Each of us has unique talents. It may be woodworking, crafting, cooking, or working on the computer. You may not have thought of impacting someone’s life by gifting your talents. For example, let’s say you enjoy woodworking. Seek out a family that you know is struggling financially. Pour your love into a making a piece of furniture that you can sell and contribute the proceeds of the sale to the family. If you want to stay anonymous, leave a note in their mailbox with the proceeds inside. With a little creativity, you’ll find lots of ways to change people’s lives with love.

About this Blog

Steve and his wife built a software company, sold it and retired early. Steve enjoys blogging about lifestyle freedom, financial independence, and technology. If you like this blog, subscribe here to get an email each time he posts.

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How to live a zen-like life of Reduced Stress

It’s easy to get stressed and lose focus in our lives. By following a few daily routines, you can quickly regain focus and obtain reduced stress. So how do you become more centered, focused and calm? Start by following these simple steps each day.

Start the Day with Exercise

Reduced Stress by Cycling

Start your day with some type of exercise but choose an exercise you enjoy. For me, it is working out with weights, cycling or walking. It doesn’t have to take long, just 20 minutes of exercise 5 days a week is a great start.

Post-Exercise Meditation

Reduced Stress by Medidation

Once you’ve completed 20 minutes of exercise, wind down from it by closing your eyes and relaxing for 10 minutes. When doing this, try to clear your mind of thoughts. Thoughts will creep in and that’s OK, just try to suppress them when they do. Some people enjoy listening to light music in the background and burning a candle. Once you’re done, you’re going to start the day on the right foot: energized and focused.

Make Your Bed

Reduced Stress by Making Bed

Before leaving for work, make your bed and quickly pick up any clothes that are laying around. By doing this, it eliminates clutter and allows your mind to start the day in a more organized and deliberate way.

Organize Your Day for Reduced Stress

Reduced Stress by getting Organized

Once you’re at work, spend the first 30 minutes making a list of things you would like to accomplish today. Don’t be overly aggressive with your list and don’t beat yourself up if you don’t accomplish them. Having a targeted list of action items will keep you focused and will reduce stress.

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Take Breaks

Reduced Stress by Taking a Break

Throughout the day, take 10-minute breaks to get away from your desk. Simply walk around the office or step outdoors. By walking, it clears your mind and allows you to attack problems in a different way and better solutions become clearer. Try to take at least one 10-minute break in the morning, walk for 10 minutes at lunch and then take another 10-minute break in the afternoon.

Resist Work at Night

Reduced Stress with no Work

If you’ve worked during the day, resist the temptation to continue your work when you get home. To be your best, you must decompress and de-stress at the end of the day. Do something you enjoy. Listen to music, cook, spend a quiet evening with your partner, watch TV or read a book.

End of Day Routine

Reduced Stress by being Grateful

At the end of the day, just before bed, spend 10 minutes in grateful meditation.  Instead of trying to clear your mind, close your eyes and think of things you are grateful for. I am sure you are grateful for living on a beautiful earth, your family, your friends, your co-workers, your job, and your abundance. Let those thankful ideas come to the forefront of your mind. Then end your meditation with a few moments of silent thought. You will feel the stress melt away and will be ready for a great night of sleep with reduced stress.


By just following a few practices, you will find that less than an hour a day can be a huge impact on how you view the world and for reduced stress. The order of the practices is not important. For example, you may be a night owl and cannot wake up in time to exercise first. That’s totally fine, just rearrange the practices to fit your life. You’ll be surprised how much of an impact this can make.

Do you have any practices you’ve put into place that has reduced stress in your life?

About this Blog

Steve and his wife built a software company, sold it and retired early. Steve enjoys blogging about lifestyle freedom, financial independence, and technology. If you like this blog, subscribe here to get an email each time he posts.

If you like this post, you might also like these prior posts:

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Meet Michael Hall: A 38 Year Old Millionaire with Bigger Ambitions

I first met Michael Hall in 2015 and was impressed with his story. He’s a 38-year-old entrepreneur that co-started and sold a software company that vaulted him into the millionaire club. But Michael is much more than that. He’s an avid learner, believes in random acts of kindness, and is a family man.

I asked Michael to share his story with our readers. Although he has accomplished an incredible amount already, he has bigger ambitions as you will learn in this interview.

If you like the interview, please share it on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

1. Michael Hall: tell our viewers a little about your story.

My name is Michael Hall and I am a 38-year-old entrepreneur currently in hibernation.  I previously started and ran an I.T. management and consulting company for a little over a decade.  After selling the company in 2012, I decided to take a few years off to hang out with my kids (3.5 and 1.5 years old).

Michael Hall

After a lot of soul-searching, I came to realize that my next business will revolve around the success of others.  Thus, I recently launched my own financial/personal development coaching service.  My mission is to help as many people as I can achieve financial freedom (quickly!) while ensuring they are living life with a purpose.  Helping people to step into their full potential is what really excites me these days!

As a related resource, I started a blog several months ago – FinanciallyAlert.com.  At this site, I talk about personal finance, early retirement, and tracks my financials with full transparency.

2. Please trace your professional journey until now.

I grew up in the Los Angeles suburbs and went to University in San Diego (UCSD).  After graduating with an Economics degree, I realized I didn’t know what to do!  So, I decided to flip things around a bit and pursued a career in technology.

After working at an I.T. company for a little over a year, the “Dot.com boom” fell apart.  My company began to implode quickly, so a couple of my friends and I decided to make the jump out on our own.

We grew the business steadily for over a decade, during which time I had the opportunity to wear many different hats, including – Systems and Network Administrator, L3 Support Tech, IT Manager, Technical Project Manager, CFO, and President.

3. Tell us more about your work right now and what made you choose this path.

At the moment, I am a stay-at-home dad which is incredibly fulfilling.  However, I know I’ve been called to do more and had multiple epiphanies during a couple of Tony Robbin’s seminars I attended recently.

So, I recently decided that I’d like to pursue life coaching with an emphasis on personal finance.  I would be so fulfilled to help others grow past their own limiting beliefs.

4. Tell us about the challenges you faced while carving out this path.

I’ve always had a strong faith that things happen for a reason.  But, sometimes it’s harder to see the bigger picture.  When I was selling my company, it was tough because I needed to stick around for the transition to ensure my team was okay, but my heart was elsewhere.  What I came to realize was that I needed to put forth my best effort regardless and extract the juice out of every experience.

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5. How has your journey affected you on a personal level?

The journey has certainly been fun and I can’t really complain, but there were certainly challenging times.  Taking a leap of faith and having the courage to pull the trigger even when the outcome is uncertain is critical to moving yourself to the next level.  Behind this leap of faith are where some of life’s greatest treasures lay hidden.

There is a shortcut however: it’s simply following your heart to pursue your passion and purpose.  Once you figure that out, find other people in the field that have accomplished a lot, and then model their success.

6. What are your goals and aspirations for the future?

I have a big goal of hitting $10M of net worth by the time I’m 50.  I’m 38 now, so I’ve got a little over a decade to get this figured out.  However, being that my next business will be coaching and helping other people, I feel like reaching this goal is much more important than just reaching it for myself.

If I’m truly helping and making a genuine impact on others, it will be reflected in my net worth over time.  In fact, it’s quite exciting!

7. What do you like to do with your free time?

I love to fish in my spare time.  Luckily my whole family enjoys it too, so we’ll enjoy family trips to the mountains to do some stream fishing in the summer.  I’ll also got out on my own to absorb nature alone sometimes.

There numerous lakes in San Diego with a healthy population of largemouth bass.  I also enjoy the challenge of fly fishing in the Sierra Nevada’s.

8. What are some website or blogs that inspire you?

Well, other than this awesome one (weretiredearly.com), I typically frequent sites like:

(My entire list can be found here)

9. What’s your favorite piece of technology you use?

This might sound a bit strange, but it’s my scanner!  Yup, my Fujitsu document scanner has changed my life for the better by eliminating the majority of paper in my life and taking me paperless.  In fact, I wrote a post about it here – How to Eliminate Financial Clutter For Good!

10. Where has been your favorite place to travel and why?

Oh this is a tough one.  I’ve been blessed to travel a lot.  But, if I had to choose one, it would probably be San Sebastian, Spain.  This is located in the Northern coastal part of Basque country.  It has a stunning coastline, great weather, beautiful architecture, and the food here is divine.

It is the second city with the most Michelin stars per capita in the world (only behind Kyoto, Japan).  Life here is good and meant to be enjoyed.  I also love that you can walk everywhere, or take public transportation when needed.  Restaurants and tapas bars are open super late and there’s always something new to feast on (can you tell I love food?!).

11. How can our viewers learn more about your story?

The best place to learn more about my story is on my blog’s about me page.

About this Blog

We hope you enjoyed this inspiring interview with Michael Hall. Steve and his wife built a software company, sold it and retired early. Steve enjoys blogging about lifestyle freedom, financial independence, and technology. If you like this blog, subscribe here to get an email each time he posts.

If you like this post, you might also like these prior posts:

Follow me: Twitter  |  Facebook  |  LinkedIn  |  Subscribe to this Blog

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Can working from Home make you Happier?

Have you ever tried working from home? Can it make you happier or will it stress you out? I’ve worked from home for many years and I definitely prefer it to going to the office. Here is why.

Less Wasted Time

You probably know people who spend an hour each way commuting each day.

Working from home

By the time you factor in a round trip, it could be 2 hours of wasted time each day. Imagine digging into your work for those 2 hours, you could accomplish a lot more and finish up sooner so that you can head outdoors and do something really fun. Working from home has its advantages.

Fitness can be part of your Day

If you’re an early riser like me, you can get started working while still in your pajamas. After you’ve worked a couple of hours, you can break for a couple of hours and enjoy some exercise. For me, it’s cycling, working out with weights, hiking, walking on the beach, or golfing.

Working from Home Allows Fitness

Once you’ve finished your exercise, you can wash up and spend several hours really heads-down on your work. You’ll come at it with a renewed state of mind. Working from home will undoubtedly be more productive.

Eliminating Time Draining Meetings

When you work in an office environment, it leads to lots of unnecessary meetings. By working from home, you can close the door, shut down your email, and work with a purpose.

Working from Home eliminates meetings

I find that I accomplish lots more when working at home than in the office because I am not constantly interrupted. When I do have virtual meetings, I limit them to 1 hour and I ensure we have clear objectives for the meeting and assignments once we leave.

Scheduling House Hold Appointments

Sometimes you need to be at home for an appointment. Whether it be meeting the cable person, waiting for a package to arrive or something similar, working from home gives you the freedom to schedule those types of appointments.

Working from Home Meet Others

If I get pulled away from my work during these appointments, I can work later that night if I need to make the time up. It provides a lot of flexibility.


Working at home can be a big improvement over working in an office. You will be more productive, more flexible, and happier. If you’ve worked at home before, please share your story in the comments below.

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About this Blog

Steve and his wife built a software company, sold it and retired early. Steve enjoys blogging about lifestyle freedom, financial independence, and technology. If you like this blog, subscribe here to get an email each time he posts.

If you like this post, you might also like these prior posts:

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Follow me: Twitter  |  Facebook  |  LinkedIn  |  Subscribe to this Blog