Current headlines paint a picture of a world where uncertainty and fear are the dominant themes. This unprecedented time has been marked by increased market volatility, supply chain disruptions, international travel restrictions, and bans on public gatherings. There are no shortage of questions surrounding the global pandemic and how it has the potential to touch all aspects of our lives, both personal and professional.
Despite this, challenging times present us with the opportunity to examine our values, our beliefs, and our conduct. It is from these moments of self-reflection that growth can occur. There is a mounting body of scientific research that demonstrates how making do with less and better utilizing the potential of the resources we currently have leads to better results in life. Whether you want to find a new job, start a business, get healthier, raise successful children, or improve your relationship with your significant other, using the resources you have more effectively can yield results better than you could ever imagine. Let me introduce you to the stretching mindset.
Having More is Always Better, Right?
I’m a chaser. Since I can remember, I have always been one. Chasing has become second nature to me. I chase time. I chase money. I chase connections and experiences and feelings. Worst of all, I chase happiness. I know I’m not alone because everyone close to me chases after something, yet I have never stopped and questioned my insatiable need for more and the dissatisfaction I so often feel with what I have readily at hand. Chasing is simply who I am and there’s nothing wrong with my, or your, unrelenting search for more.
That’s what I used to believe before I discovered an alternative way of living. In Stretch, Rice University professor Scott Sonenshein, introduces readers to the value of “stretching,” a concept best summed up by the timeless wisdom of making the most of what you have. Stretching has become a lost virtue in our age of plenty. For many of us, the idea is synonymous with frugality, a word that all too often elicits memories of stingy family members and sibling hand-me-downs. Why should a pervasive feeling of lack be the only alternative to a life centred on accumulation?
Stretching isn’t a chronic feeling of scarcity, it’s actually the antidote. The chasing mindset has become so deeply entrenched in our thinking, that when a problem arises we immediately assume that allocating more resources to it is the solution. Whether it’s a struggling department at work, poor academic performance by our kids, or a relationship in need of a boost, our first thought is to provide a bigger budget, hire private tutors, and buy the perfect expensive gift. Professor Sonenshein would advise us to pause and take stock of the resources around us.
The Problems with a Chasing Mindset
You may be wondering what’s wrong with a chasing mindset. After all, life’s most meaningful accomplishments become a whole lot easier to reach when you have the right resources at your disposal. If you want to start the business of your dreams, raise a healthy and happy family, or graduate from a great school, you’re going to need money, time, support, and know-how. No one can argue with that. But research tells us that we often get overzealous when amassing resources, which can lead us to underutilize, or worse, squander what we have worked so hard to obtain.
Chasing leaves people less satisfied and successful because it’s a mindset built on our habit to compare ourselves with others. Upward social comparison is intrinsic to human nature. We measure how we’re doing in life by looking at how our friends, family members, and neighbours are doing. But many of us don’t stop there. Increasingly, we aspire to lead lives in sync with the rich and famous. Chasing after these lifestyles is an exhaustive pursuit and that can take a serious toll on our mental health as we find ourselves tying our self-worth to the fortunes of those who seem to have it all.
Chasing also leads to mindless accumulation and resource squandering. For chasers, more is always better and the number of resources they acquire can become an aim in itself. If you believe that having an endless supply of resources will always yield better results, you can easily find yourself trapped in the accumulation mindset. Surprisingly, having plenty of resources also increases the likelihood that you will squander them. When test subjects were given high personal responsibility for a project, say improving an underperforming department, they doubled down on the commitment to the project by investing even more resources. It’s all too easy to become blind to bad ideas and fall into the trap that more resources will deliver the results we want.
The Virtues of Stretching
Stretching, on the other hand, encourages us to look for untapped potential in the resources we already possess. When you practice stretching, you’re likely to come up against constraints. Whatever they may be, a chasing mindset sees constraints as hurdles to be overcome by any means necessary. It’s at this moment where most of us begin our quest for more resources. But stretchers see constraints as an opportunity to find new uses for what they have at hand, which often leads to creative breakthroughs that yield surprising results. For example, architects and product designers who work while sticking to a strict budget are more resourceful when responding to challenges and yield more creative results than those working without constraints.
Stretchers also embrace the virtue of frugality to deliver better results. At first, this may sound counterintuitive, how can making do with less improve outcomes? It turns out that frugal people possess three features that we would all be wise to adopt. First, frugal people focus on long-term objectives rather than short-term satisfaction. Second, they turn their backs on wasteful spending and reuse what they have. Third, frugal people do not fall into the comparison trap and resist the temptation to measure their self-worth in relation to those around them. These factors help develop our internal resourcefulness, preventing us from expending valuable energy chasing resources we don’t actually need and squandering those that we have.
Interestingly, stretchers are better at seeing the potential in resources that others are quick to dismiss. Take Jenny Dawson for instance. Troubled by the huge amounts of produce that end up in garbage bins because of minor cosmetic blemishes, she founded the company Rubies in the Rubble, and transforms unwanted fruits and vegetables into gourmet jams and chutneys. Almost anything has the potential to be a resource if you are willing to invest adequate time and effort into its development.
5 Ways to Develop a Stretching Mindset
1 – Spend Time with a Stretcher: Find a stretcher you admire and already know, and commit to spending at least one hour with him or her once a month. You may be surprised by what they can teach you.
2 – Get an Outsider’s Perspective: Outsiders often notice things we’ve become blind to. Ask them to consider what personal resources (skills, knowledge, connections etc.) you are underutilizing.
3 – Practice Appreciation: Researches have discovered that those who listed what they are grateful for every day in a journal prioritize the future, are less impatient and experience higher levels of wellbeing.
4 – Change Your Habits: Often, our propensity to over plan can make us rigid and prevent us from seeing opportunities right in front of us. Instead, practice changing your routines. For example, at work, you could shuffle the people you put on teams or have your meetings in different rooms. In your personal life, take different routes when you’re driving to a destination, or try a new restaurant. Research has also shown that learning a new hobby is a great way to change your brain’s habitual thinking.
5 – Look for Treasure: To train your stretching mindset, create a benefits diary where you list key events, activities or experiences from your day. Then, beside each entry list one unexpected benefit. For positive experiences, this is easy. However, for events linked to negative emotions, it becomes a lot harder. But if you look hard enough, you will find a hidden benefit. Take for example the dreaded experience of visiting your dentist. One benefit could be greater motivation to care for your teeth based on a checkup.
It may surprise you to learn that some 60 percent of us make New Year’s resolutions. The practice of committing to, and for many of us breaking, our January 1st resolutions has a rich history dating back over 4,000 years to the ancient Babylonians. They were the first culture to hold recorded celebrations in honour of the New Year, although, for the Babylonians, the New Year began in mid-March when the crops were planted and not in January. During the 12-day festivities, the Babylonians made promises to their pantheon of deities to pay debts and return borrowed objects. This was believed to keep them in good standing with the gods. Long considered to be a forerunner to our current custom of making New Year’s resolutions, no matter which country you call home, the practice of resolving to do and be better during the forthcoming year is universal.
Equally universal is our tendency to succumb to temptation and quickly slip back into our old habits. Numerous studies have shown that less than 25 percent of us will actually stay committed to our resolutions after just 30 days. This means that three out of four of us will have abandoned our quest for personal betterment before the first day of February. And for those who successfully get past this hurdle, less than 8 percent will actually fulfill their resolution before the next year rolls around. Surely we can do better?
Change How You Approach Your Resolutions
If you’re like most people, your resolutions centre on improving your health and finances. Roughly 55 percent of our New Year’s resolutions are related to health and fitness, with just under 20 percent tackling financial goals. Year after year, the top three New Year’s resolutions are eating healthier, getting more exercise and saving money. Losing weight, spending more time with family and friends and learning a new skill or hobby round out the top six personal improvements.
So what should you do differently to make 2020 your best year yet? For starters, forget about making resolutions and instead create goals. Resolutions are overly broad and lack definition, whereas goals are much more actionable. Let’s say one of your resolutions is to lose weight. Congratulations, you’ve made a commitment to improving your wellbeing. But where do you start? Losing weight requires planning and summons a host of questions that need to be answered. For example, how will you increase your physical activity? What strategy will you use to control food cravings? How will you stay motivated through the year ahead?
Setting SMART Goals
The act of creating goals necessitates that you clarify your intention, focus your efforts and use your time and resources productively to achieve what you want. To supercharge your goal setting, you should create SMART goals. SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. A SMART goal incorporates these five essential criteria to increase your chances of success.
SMART goals are:
Specific: Well defined and clear. Make use of real numbers and deadlines.
Measurable: You can easily measure your progress towards the completion of your goal.
Achievable: The goal is attainable. You want to select a goal that is challenging but also possible.
Realistic: Your goal should be realistic. Be honest with yourself, you know what you are capable of.
Timely: Your goal should have a clearly defined timeline, including a starting date and a target date.
Using the weight loss example above, a SMART goal would be: “I want to lose 15 pounds in the next 4 months. I will measure my weight on a scale to track my progress. I will exercise 6 days a week for no less than 30 minutes and follow the Mediterranean Diet, limiting my calories to 1,400 per day. Once I reach my goal, I will re-evaluate and consider setting a new target for continued weight loss.”
To make this goal even more actionable, you could define the type of physical activity you will engage in and what you will do should an unforeseen circumstance arise, for example, you become ill or the restaurant you’re at lacks a healthy, low-calorie alternative. Guided by this action plan, it becomes much easier to follow through and achieve your desired goal. And remember, when it comes to goal setting, less is more. For optimum results, limit your focus to two or three goals. Your chances of success will skyrocket as you will not become overwhelmed with making too many changes at once.
Is There An Easier Alternative?
If personal goal setting elicits feelings of boredom and disinterest, there’s another tool that personal change experts make use of: the power of small changes. The idea of small changes asks that you swap your ambitious New Year’s resolutions for small achievable improvements. With time, these bite-sized intentions can snowball into enduring behaviour change.
Let’s say your resolution is to eat healthier in 2020. Instead of overhauling your entire kitchen pantry and embracing the latest diet, you can create a list of healthy foods that you enjoy eating and post it in areas that you frequently look at. The fridge and around your computer screen would be ideal spots. Studies have shown that visual reminders can encourage us to make small changes to our daily routines, and over time, these changes can have profound effects on our health and well-being.
If you want to exercise more, leave your workout clothes and running shoes in a visible area. If getting more sleep is a priority, do some light reading, listen to a meditation, or write in a journal before you go to bed. This will help you wind down before bedtime and ensure that you fall asleep quicker. If you want to learn a new skill, set aside 5 minutes every day for the new task. As your new habit grows, gradually increase your scheduled time. This ensures that even the most time-crunched among us can still find the time to improve ourselves.
It is our hope that this post will help make 2020 your best year yet. May the New Year bring you and your loved ones happiness, peace and prosperity. From everyone at SolidTrust Pay, we would like to wish you a joyous year filled with much success!
The short answer is there isn’t. There will always be a degree of risk inherent in any investment you make. However, with some tips, you can minimize loses and make market volatility work in your favour.
It’s been 10 years since the creation of the world’s first cryptocurrency. What began as an attempt to create a “trust-less” cash system, whereby costly third-party intermediaries would no longer be needed, has grown to include more than 1,600 different cryptocurrencies. Of course, not all cryptocurrencies are equal and the method by which they are created is surprisingly easy, making it possible for anyone with some basic coding knowledge to create their own. It’s believed that only 20 cryptocurrencies account for 89% of the total digital currency market. This means that the vast majority of cryptocurrencies will never have values above a few cents, with many disappearing altogether as more established digital currencies increase their market capitalization.
For many of us, the price volatility of cryptocurrencies discourages us from purchasing them. In less than 4 months, Bitcoin dropped from a high of nearly $20,000 to less than $7,000. This volatility continues to define the cryptocurrency landscape with the value of many altcoins rising and falling as quickly as the ocean’s tides. Despite this instability, not all digital currencies are risky investments. Stablecoins are cryptocurrencies that are secured to an asset with a stable value, such as gold or the U.S. dollar. Notable examples include Tether and Facebook’s new Libra cryptocurrency which will be introduced in early 2020. These coins have a fixed valuation and present themselves as safer investment options than more volatile cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. Stablecoins are ideal for conducting routine transactions and are quickly growing in popularity among people who live in nations with unstable monetary systems.
Minimize Your Risk With Dollar-Cost Averaging
If you’re like most investors, you want to join the multitude of individuals who are actively buying, selling and trading popular cryptocurrencies, the 20 or so that make up nearly 90% of the digital currency market. Fortunately, there is a simple strategy you can use to reduce potential loses and make the volatility of the cryptocurrency market work to your advantage: dollar-cost averaging. Dollar-cost averaging allows you to build up your assets over time while helping you to avoid making emotionally driven decisions. The strategy is surprisingly easy to use; instead of purchasing all your cryptocurrency at a single point in time, you divide up the total amount of money you would like to invest in digital currencies and make smaller purchases over an extended time period. For example, instead of purchasing $500 of Bitcoin in one day, you would buy $100 worth of Bitcoin every 4 weeks for 5 months, or purchase $50 worth of Bitcoin every 2 weeks for 5 months.
Your $100 investment will purchase more Bitcoin when the market is down and this increases the potential for gains if the market turns around. Likewise, when the market is up, your $100 purchase will buy less Bitcoin which will reduce the risk of loss should the market turn the other way. Dollar-cost averaging has been successfully shown to reduce the risk of buying volatile asset classes. It also helps dissipate the anxiety of committing a significant amount of your capital to a single asset purchase while simultaneously giving you the freedom to reevaluate your investment strategy, opting to invest more or less as time goes on.
Buying Cryptocurrency with SolidTrust Pay
Buying cryptocurrency is easy with SolidTrust Pay. Currently, you can purchase 12 different cryptocurrencies using your STPay e-wallet: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin SV, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Binance Coin, Dogecoin, Litecoin, NEO, OmiseGO, Tron and Ripple.
Before you can make your initial cryptocurrency purchase, you must first create a secure SolidTrust Pay account and set up an external cryptocurrency wallet. Popular cryptocurrency wallets include Coinbase, Mycelium and Electrum, but there are dozens of options to choose from. Always research your chosen wallet and make sure that it possesses excellent security features.
Once you’ve created your STPay account and external cryptocurrency wallet, buying digital currency with SolidTrust Pay is fast, easy and most importantly, secure. We have been a leader in the online payment industry since 2006 and our corporate-grade anti-virus and firewall protection is continuously monitored by our network of international security personnel. To buy cryptocurrency with your SolidTrust Pay account, follow these simple steps:
Step 1) Create your SolidTrust Pay account by clicking HERE.
Step 2) Verify your account to the Standard Verified level. For more information about our 4 account verification levels, please click HERE.
Step 3) Set up two-factor authentication (2FA) using your smartphone or desktop/laptop. For detailed instructions, please click HERE.
Step 4) Create a cryptocurrency wallet and connect it to your SolidTrust Pay account. If you are using a desktop application, click HERE for detailed instructions. For smartphone instructions, please click HERE.
Step 5) Deposit the amount you wish to spend on bitcoin into your SolidTrust Pay account using a bank transfer, a credit card or a transfer from another STPay member.
Step 6) Log in to your SolidTrust Pay account and navigate to My Money > Withdraw Funds. Next, click on the Altcoins option.
Step 7) Select the amount of money you would like to withdraw to your bitcoin wallet. It may take up to 24 hours for your deposit to appear in your cryptocurrency wallet.
Steps 1 through 4 only need to be completed once. You will then be able to easily buy bitcoin by following Steps 5, 6 and 7. Once your account has been Standard Verified and connected to a cryptocurrency wallet, you may withdraw up to $2,500 per day from your SolidTrust Pay e-wallet (Bank Verified members may withdraw up to $5,000 every 24 hours).
As with any asset, investing in cryptocurrencies involves the risk of substantial loss, including the loss of your entire investment. SolidTrust Pay is not an investment advisor or fiduciary and this content is provided for informational purposes only. Before purchasing cryptocurrency, please evaluate whether it is suitable for your financial situation and personal risk tolerance.
Sometimes setting up an account for the first time can be confusing. That’s why we created this handy step-by-step guide. It’s our hope that it will simplify the sign-up process and answer any questions you may have about creating your very own SolidTrust Pay account.
At SolidTrust Pay, the security of your personal and financial information is our top priority. That’s why you will be asked to create 2 unique account passwords and a personal security question. At the end of this guide, you will find a helpful video that walks you through the entire sign-up process. Be sure to check it out, as it contains more helpful tips and suggestions.
Step 1) Go to our homepage – SolidTrustPay.com – and click on the SIGN UP button at the top right-hand corner.
Step 2) The first page you are taken to permits you to select your preferred Account Type.
Personal Account — Perfect for online shopping, participating in programs and sending funds to family and friends.
Business Account — Ideal for individuals and companies selling products and/or services online.
Step 3) Enter your Profile Details.
Please note that all fields marked with an * are required.
Your First and Last Name – Please enter your given name and surname.
Date of Birth – You must be over 18 years of age to use SolidTrust Pay without parental permission. In order to verify your SolidTrust Pay account, we require your date of birth.
Occupation – This information is mandated by government regulations.
Legal Citizenship – This information is required for all members.
Country of Residence – Some countries are restricted from using SolidTrust Pay due to international economic sanctions. You must select the country prior to being able to enter your state/province/territory which will auto-populate in the next section’s drop-down menu.
Province/State – This section is auto-populated once you select your country of residence. Please be aware that not all countries and regions can use SolidTrust Pay’s services. If your state/province/region/territory isn’t listed or is incorrectly listed, please choose the one that is most applicable to your correct address. For a complete list of countries and regions that cannot use our services, please click HERE.
City – Enter the name of your city, town or village.
ZIP/Postal Code – Enter your address’ ZIP or Postal Code.
Address Line 1 – Enter your residential or business address in this box. Example: 1 Main Street
Address Line 2 – Enter your PO Box, Rural Route Number, Apartment/Suite Number, etc in this box. Example: Suite 204
Yes, I have read the terms and conditions – You must select this box if you wish to use SolidTrust Pay’s services.
Yes, I agree to receive marketing emails – This is an optional box. If you select it, we will periodically send you information about new services, promotions, discounts and important updates impacting your account.
Step 4) Enter your Security Settings.
Select a Username – This is your personal SolidTrust Pay account name. All transactions are performed under this name. Your username serves to identify your account when a merchant or other member is sending funds to you. Your username can have a maximum of 16 characters and can be a combination of letters and numbers. Please DO NOT include any spaces, punctuation marks, symbols or email addresses in your username.
Please note that all SolidTrust Pay usernames are case-sensitive. In addition, usernames cannot consist of a string of digits. Example: 3756371 is not a permitted username. SusanSmith would be an ideal username.
Email Address – This is required to complete your account sign up. We will use this address to contact you.
Confirm Email Address – Please re-enter your email address.
Select Login Password – This the password you will use to log in to your SolidTrust Pay account. To protect your account from fraudulent activity, we request that all members create a password that adheres to our strict guidelines. Your password must contain at least:
• One Number • One Uppercase Letter • One Lowercase Letter • One Symbol
Confirm Login Password – Please re-enter your password to verify that you have typed it correctly.
Select Secondary Password – This password is required when you move funds into or out of your SolidTrust Pay account. It is also required to make changes to your account’s security settings. This is a Non-Retrievable password which means that you cannot reset it. Please ensure that your secondary password is different from your login password. Like your Login password, your Secondary Password must include:
• One Number • One Uppercase Letter • One Lowercase Letter • One Symbol
Confirm Secondary Password – Please re-enter your secondary password to verify that you have typed it correctly.
Secret Question – This is a requirement on websites that store sensitive personal and financial information. To protect your account from cybercriminals, please do not make the question something that a hacker might have access to, such as ‘What is my username,’ ‘What is my birthdate’ or ‘What is my middle name.’ Good Examples are, ‘What is my mother’s maiden name,’ ‘What was the colour of my first car’ or ‘What is my favourite candy bar.’
Confirm Secret Answer – This is the answer to the above question. Please note that the answer is case sensitive.
Daytime Phone Number – Please enter the primary phone number that you use. This can be your cellphone number. Formatting for phone numbers should include your country code, followed by the phone number. Please do not include any spaces, dashes (-), plus signs (+) or additional numbers (00). Example: 18771234567
Cell Phone Number – This can be the same number as your daytime phone number. If you have a secondary number that you wish to include in your profile, you may include it here. This number is optional.
Spam Block Question – This is a simple arithmetic question that you must answer before creating your account. If you do not see a question in the box, we suggest that you switch web browsers. Our site performs best using the Mozilla Firefox or Chrome web browser if you are using a PC (desktop/laptop) or Android device. If you are using an Apple or iOS device, we suggest using Safari.
Step 5) Press the Signup button and you’re done.
Congratulations, your new SolidTrust Pay account is ready to use! You will then be taken to a confirmation page and can proceed to sign in to your e-wallet.
If you require assistance at any time during the account creation process, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our Customer Support centre. Our representatives will be happy to answer all your questions and help you complete your sign up.
Here is a video that will guide you through the entire account sign-up process.