brain-exercise brain-power

Train Yourself to Override Negative Thoughts with One Brain Exercise

brain-exercise brain-power

Train Yourself to Override Negative Thoughts with One Brain Exercise

There is a section of psychology that focuses on rewards. Most of us are familiar with the process that a psychologist used to train dogs. Pavlov used a treat to reward a dog for accomplishing a task. In the process of giving the dog the treat, he would add some audible command. Eventually the dog would mentally transfer the reward with the command. The end result is the dog responded to the command without the reward. The poor dog would get to the point of drooling at the command yet never get the treat.
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We do the same thing. We quickly mentally associate something with some physical event. As an example, when you throw up after eating some food, next time you see that food, you mentally revert back to the bad experience and refuse the food. It may have been your favorite and the event had nothing to do with the food but you turn it down.
Here’s the big deal. You can choose to eat the food anyway and continue to enjoy that tasty morsel. After a while, your brain will stop reminding you of the bad deal. You can choose to overwrite a distasteful event with something pleasurable. Or you can yield to what your brain is telling you and miss out on the benefits and mentally reinforce that wrong association.

Action time.

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You can use this deal to your benefit. Think of one of the most positive experiences you had. For me it is skydiving. Now, associate that with something important to you, some value you want to remember. Work hard to mentally associate these two things together. Next, take this association and connect it to some small physical action. An easy one is to pinch the skin between your thumb and index finger. Mentally keep working these three associations together. Some call this process setting an anchor or cue.
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After you have set this cue, think of something all together different; say the last two numbers of your phone number.  Now, quickly do the cue. See if the mental image doesn’t come back and override the distraction. This is a great process.
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Why bother? Well, next time you get into a stressful situation, use the cue to override the stress to get back to where you mentally want to be. Check it out! I would look forward to hearing your cue and how you use it. I would enjoy working with you to use cueing and other mental exercises to help you accelerate you being all you have been created to be.

 

 

 

 

Come over to our website specifically designed for college preparation.
www.lifeprepcollegeplanning.com
To Jump Starting Your College Life!
Coach Rossitto

 

 

 

 

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
Securities and Advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor.  Member FINRA/SIPC
The LPL Financial Registered Representative associated with this site may only discuss and/or transact securities business with residents of the following states: AZ, CA, MD, NY. TX
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Going the Distance in Life: Creating Something Bigger than Yourself

Going the Distance in Life

Going the Distance in Life: Creating Something Bigger than Yourself

Going the Distance in Life

Creating Something Bigger than Yourself

There are a number of ways to accomplish things. Before the task is done, there are a few steps. You have to figure out what you want to do, have a plan to do it, determine any materials necessary to complete the task, start the process, modify when necessary and then complete the process. There may be some other steps but I think you get the idea. The big question is “What is the benefit?” The benefit part always has some type of reward. It can be material gain, avoidance of discomfort and/or pain or just for the joy of it.
When thinking about a career, we often look at the material gain part. How much will it pay? What is the benefit package? What type of working environment is it in? All of these are based on certain conditions and considered “Conditional Motivations.” In looking into careers, these conditional motivations are one of the elements of choosing a career and what type of preparation we are going to make to be successful.
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Conditional Motivation is great in the short run. Yet when challenges come or the process becomes difficult or boring, there has to be some additional motivation or we crash and burn. “Crash and burn” comes in various ways, underproduction or burnout being two obvious results.
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The alternative is an internal motivation for a purpose larger than you, that larger purpose being something that you find fulfilling and worth the effort. Many people choose pretty difficult tasks in nasty circumstances yet they complete them and in the end enjoy the results. That type of motivation is considered “Intrinsic Motivation.” Conditional Motivation is good for short-term rewards along the way. The benefit is lost once received and spent. Intrinsic motivation is a stronger motivation tool because the benefit is never used up. It can be a strong memory or seeing the results played out on an ongoing basis.

Action Time.

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If you are a student, take some time to consider your source of motivation. Grades on a test or in a class are short term rewards and fade after received. They are great “Conditional Motivators.” They help along the way. Try thinking about the long-term reason for your studies and preparation.
Look for the big long-term purpose. For the visual types, try making a picture of the results and post it in an obvious place where you see it every day. For the auditory type, try making a short recording, put it to music and listen to it on a regular basis. For the hands on learner, make some physical object you can hold to remind you of the end you are going after.
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When challenged, revisit your Intrinsic Motivator to help go the distance. I would look forward to hearing what your motivators are and what tools you use to remind you of where you are going.

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Come over to our website specifically designed for college preparation.
www.lifeprepcollegeplanning.com
To Jump Starting Your College Life!
Coach Rossitto

 

 

 

 

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
Securities and Advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor.  Member FINRA/SIPC
The LPL Financial Registered Representative associated with this site may only discuss and/or transact securities business with residents of the following states: AZ, CA, MD, NY. TX

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college aid- negotiation- college- prep

How to Appeal a College’s Financial Aid to Receive More

college aid- negotiation- college- prep

How to Appeal a College’s Financial Aid to Receive More

Dealing with a Low Ball Offer

This month, we have been going over various types of grants. The last part of this series is perhaps the most important. It has to do with getting schools to compete for you after they have sent a formal offer. The bottom line is you can appeal to the school for more money. This can happen in a couple of different ways. The first is due to hardship. If your family has experienced some financial hardship in the last year that makes the Free Application for Student AID (FAFSA) unrepresentative of your current circumstances, you can appeal to the financial aid officer and present your case. Bear in mind that these have to be legitimate family issues; a parent that was recently laid off their job, a sickness in the family, or some other valid reason. Vet bills for your favorite horse probably don’t apply. Financial officers have the ability and discression to adjust expenses due to out of the ordinary new circumstances. They are people too and have a heart.
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The second appeal is to simply ask for more dollars. Schools can and do low ball their first offers. There is information available that estimates the average percentage of “need” that a college will provide. If the figure you receive is significantly below that average for you as a student, the school is attempting to low ball you. In this case, you can go back to the college and indicate that their offer is below what you believe you can afford and thus ask them to sweeten the pot. If you are a student they want to fill their seats, they are often willing to do so. It never hurts to ask.
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The last appeal is based on competition. If you have a school that wants you and you want to go there but another school is offering a better package, tell the lower bidder. Explain the situation. Express the fact that you would like to go to their school but have other offers from other quality schools that are more cost effective. Provide the low bidder the details of the offer and ask them to meet it. If they want you and the offer is truly competitive, you may be surprised to see how the low bidder will work to get you into their school. Worst case is they won’t do it. Best case is they can up the grant and save you significant dollars.
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Action time.

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College education is a business, a big one. It works like a business in its dealings. While not quite the same as the corner used car lot, there are issues to be considered in reducing your costs and trying to obtain the best deal and still receive a quality education. I would look forward to working with you to help you receive the best value for your education dollar. Feel free to email me of give my office a call for an initial consultation.
Come over to our website specifically designed for college preparation.
www.lifeprepcollegeplanning.com
To Jump Starting Your College Life!
Coach Rossitto

 

 

 

 

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
Securities and Advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor.  Member FINRA/SIPC
The LPL Financial Registered Representative associated with this site may only discuss and/or transact securities business with residents of the following states: AZ, CA, MD, NY. TX

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college entrance

Financial Aid: Figuring out What you are Actually Paying for College

college entrance

Financial Aid: Figuring out What You are Actually Paying for College

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This month, we have talked about College Financial AID and how the numbers are worked up. We have been dealing with what is called “Need” and what kind of aid is available to fill this gap. Last week, we talked about government aid. This week, we will briefly discuss grants available from the colleges themselves.
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Grants usually come in the form of “Merit” based aid. Merit aid goes to students that the colleges or universities are targeting to add to their student body. This typically goes to students that work on positioning the 5 different college entrance requirements: high school grades, SAT scores, extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation and the college entrance essay. For the students that meet these entrance hurdles, colleges can target certain students in the upper qualification echelon with a percentage of aid to meet their “Need.” (Bear in mind that the family still has to pay the Effective Family Contribution (EFC)). So, when you receive offers from the universities or colleges, their grants will be working on this perceived “Need.”
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Here is where you have to be careful regarding the award letters. As mentioned earlier, some letters do not have very accurate Cost of Attendance figures, making the real cost higher then what they send you. Other offers with wrap in various student loans as part of the offer so it becomes important to read the fine print to see exactly what real money is coming out of the schools’ pocket and what will ultimately come out of your pocket and then make a comparison between the schools you are looking at. You may find that one offer that appears to look equal to another has a bottom line that actually has you paying more dollars due to various loans and work programs. Next week we will mention some ways to attempt to get the schools to up the grant.
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 Action Time.

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As you receive offers from schools, make a spread sheet that deals with what you believe is the real cost of attendance, your EFC, the perceived need, the actual grant from the college, the loans that need to be taken out, the contributions based on work-study programs and any other values that you believe you may experience and then calculate how much the real cost for each school. Now you will have a valid cost comparison. I would be glad to review the offers you receive and see how they compare.

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Come over to our website specifically designed for college preparation.
www.lifeprepcollegeplanning.com
To Jump Starting Your College Life!
Coach Rossitto

 

 

 

 

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
Securities and Advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor.  Member FINRA/SIPC
The LPL Financial Registered Representative associated with this site may only discuss and/or transact securities business with residents of the following states: AZ, CA, MD, NY. TX

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Figuring out the Maze of College Financial Aid

Sorting out the Maze of College Financial Aid

Figuring out the Maze of College Financial Aid

Sorting out the Maze of College Financial Aid

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Last week we talked about actual college costs and the equation that calculates the Family Need. Just as a refresher, here is the equation:
Cost of Attendance (COA) – (Effective Family Contribution (EFC) + Scholarships) = Need
We mentioned that not all COAs are created equal and to do your research to make sure you know what the final bottom line is. So, to clarify, the equation for the potential out of pocket to the family is:
                                    Out of Pocket = EFC + Need
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For lower income families, the perceived “need” can be covered by various government grants. PELL Grants come from the Federal Government and make up a fairly large portion of grants provided. Most of the PELL Grant dollars go to families with $50,000 of income or less. Information for the PELL grant program can be obtained on the Federal site. One other program is the Federal Supplement Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG). Information about the FSEOG dollars can be obtained on the Government site. These dollars are usually limited to families with EFCs of $0. They are used up very quickly so it is important to file the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) form on Jan 1 as the dollars can be gone just that quick. The next source of “need” based aid comes from the states. Some states are more generous than others when dealing out aid to the financial needy. Again, it is important to file the FAFSA early as state dollars also run out quickly as well. Other programs that assist families are related to subsidized and unsubsidized federal loans. These loans, offer interest rates that are typically lower then convention student loans and have some other benefits as well. Do remember that we are talking about the “Need” part of the equation. The family is still responsible for the EFC part of the equation. Loans can fund the “Need” and the EFC.
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Action Time.

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Looking at these two financial aid equations, you can see that it is important to have the lowest possible EFC value. It becomes important to have your college education financial aid house in order to minimize your EFC. That is the first step in working through the process. I work with families to first estimate their current EFC and then, where ever possible, reposition resources to minimize the EFC during the four years of college. That’s right. You have to redo the EFC each year the student is in college. The first step to help me calculate your EFC is to go to my website http://lifeprepcollegeplanning.com and complete the Data Form from the tool bar at the top of the page. Know that I look forward to working with you in the maze of college financial aid.
Come over to our website specifically designed for college preparation.
www.lifeprepcollegeplanning.com
To Jump Starting Your College Life!
Coach Rossitto

 

 

 

 

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
Securities and Advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor.  Member FINRA/SIPC
The LPL Financial Registered Representative associated with this site may only discuss and/or transact securities business with residents of the following states: AZ, CA, MD, NY. TX
college tuition

Figuring out Actual College Costs

college tuition

Figuring out Actual College Costs

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This is an exciting time for High School Seniors. The end is in sight. Many are going to be receiving their acceptance offers from the colleges they have applied to. For the next few weeks, lets focus on some math and cost of attendance examples that go along with acceptance letters.
First, it is important to know that not all acceptance letters are equal. Some colleges are in the habit of making their offers look, well, perhaps better then they are. So, lets go over the deal. First off, you should have completed and sent in the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA). If you have all the correct financial information for the calculation, the government will send to you and the colleges you put on the form your Effective Family Contribution (EFC). That is the number the government says you can afford to pay for college. You may not agree with them but that is the number! So, what is the first equation?
            Cost of Attendance minus Effective Family Contribution equals Need
Short hand for all of this is:
                                                            COA – EFC = Need
So let’s pick this apart for a few sentences. What is the Cost of Attendance?
Well, that is a good question. Seems apparent but sometimes some things get left out and families face more expenses than the letters state.
Bottom line, Cost of Attendance should include:
                                                Tuition
                                                Room & Board
                                                Texts books
                                                Necessary travel
It would be nice to also have estimates of the following included in the cost of attending:
                                                Lab fees
                                                Personal Expenses
                                                Student Activities
If any of these expenses are left out of the equation, well, the actual cost of attending the school will be misquoted.

Action Time.

Having applied to the colleges of your choice, go to their sites and check out their estimates of their Cost of Attendance or their Net Price calculators. This will give you the ability to compare their Cost of Attendance and Net Price to the cost associated with their offer letters. The differences may be significant. All this takes time and effort but will keep you from having any surprises. We will be covering more about this throughout the month of March. I would be glad to work through the letters with you to help you fully understand the bottom line. Keep in mind that every person’s circumstance will vary and each school has its own format.

 

 

 

 

Come over to our website specifically designed for college preparation.
www.lifeprepcollegeplanning.com
To Jump Starting Your College Life!
Coach Rossitto

 

 

 

 

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
Securities and Advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor.  Member FINRA/SIPC
The LPL Financial Registered Representative associated with this site may only discuss and/or transact securities business with residents of the following states: AZ, CA, MD, NY. TX
Turning your Vision Statement to Actionable Goals

Turning your Vision Statement into Actionable Goals

Turning your Vision Statement to Actionable Goals

Turning your Vision Statement into Actionable Goals

The tunnel is getting brighter. Since January, we have been working through developing a values/purpose statement with the ultimate goal of developing a vision for what we would like our future path to look like. No guarantees that it will be like what we envision. The goal is to have a vision for the bigger picture.
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In my personal values statement, I have listed, first, some action words (serve, grow and laugh) then some nouns (trust, integrity and zest) to generate action and finally a purpose (for the glory of God) to fulfill the purpose of living the way I do. I offered the example of putting personal insights into the action words and how they were important to me. The next step I took was to put some meaning into the action words and the purpose to come up with a few meaningful paragraphs describing my value statement.
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So, here is what I would suggest as the next step. With a broad brush, put down the key goals that you have for the next year, 3 years, 5 years and 10 years for both your personal and professional life. Don’t get too specific. Choose to list out the biggies for each of these time periods. You can deal with the steps on getting there later. Once you have listed these out, work on the common threads between these goals. For me, they were the relationships I have with family, friends and business acquaintances, then the maintenance of existing resources and the future purchase of new resources and finally, the areas of recreation that I would like to become involved in. With these as a list, I would suggest developing paragraphs that summarizes the core of your values when incorporated into the goals you have set for the next 10 years. How about them apples?
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This probably will take some thought and a few runs at it. In the end, I hope to have developed a rich and full vision of what and how I hope to approach the next years that have been allotted to me.

Action Time.

There are many ways to make these meaningful statements. With the values, I found it easier to look through a list and find the most meaningful concepts. Others would suggest you write down the values that come to your mind in a 30 second time period. I offered some additional steps in the process to design some vision for the future. I am not suggesting this is the only way.   It is one way I have found to be reasonable. The goal is to Just Do It. Having gone through the process, the challenge is to live it out. I would look forward to what you develop. If you wish, I would enjoy looking over your shoulder and hold you accountable to getting it done and then living it out. That is what a good coach does.

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Come over to our website specifically designed for college preparation.
www.lifeprepcollegeplanning.com
To Jump Starting Your College Life!
Coach Rossitto

 

 

 

 

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
Securities and Advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor.  Member FINRA/SIPC
The LPL Financial Registered Representative associated with this site may only discuss and/or transact securities business with residents of the following states: AZ, CA, MD, NY. TX