Mar 162017

The New Land of Opportunities is Cold, but Friendly

Many Americans want nothing more than to have the equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work, determination, and sheer sticktoitiveness. 🙂 But research from the Pew Research Center suggests that there is a growing gap between the country’s rich and poor. As the middle class gets squeezed it is becoming harder for people to realize their dreams. Some consumers in the lower class are in so much financial distress, they can’t even afford to pay their electricity bills. Excuse the pun but these could very well be the darkest times of their lives, literally.

But there is a silver lining to all this. According to Scott Gilmore, a columnist for Macleans magazine, Canada is a better place than the United States to find life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness by virtually every measure. 🙂 So maybe the American dream hasn’t died. It just moved north.

Canadians are more likely to have college degrees, be employed, own a home, take more vacation days, and even live longer than our neighbours to the south. 🙂 Scott says one contributing factor to a better life in Canada is thanks to our more affordable, public healthcare system. We don’t have people here going bankrupt because of medical bills. We may have to wait longer than Americans to get treatment. But at least Canadians are less likely to take extreme measures to pay for high healthcare expenses.


Economic mobility is also higher in Canada. According to Scott, Canadians are twice as likely to move from the poorest quintile of the population to the wealthiest quintile compared to Americans. Similarly, the link between the income of a parent and a child is half as strong in Canada. In other words, individuals have more influence over their future outcomes than the environment they are born into. 🙂 Canadians are also 6 times less likely to be incarcerated.

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Jan 262015
15-01-dream-of-the-futureRich people dream of the future. They prioritize setting goals and planning ahead. Meanwhile the poor and middle class often dwell on the past, which holds them back and prevents them from being happy and productive. The wealthy are financially successful because they spend more time thinking about their future than their past. They believe their circumstances are not a matter of chance, but a matter of choice. Their future is not something they wait for. It’s something they plan for. 🙂
We can’t turn back time or change the past, but we can all fight for a better future. Our past provides the foundation for our future, and our present defines what kind of future we want to build on that foundation. Every waking moment in the present is an opportunity for us to make better decisions that will help our future selves. Wallowing in regret or past mistakes will not help us in this respect. Whenever we become woeful we should try to acknowledge our emotional state, and then ultimately realize that our despairs or recollections about what happened in the past are simply ephemeral memories.
The past can be useful, but only if we learn from it. If we failed a driving test, told an inappropriate joke, or didn’t get that promotion we wanted, we should absolutely think back and learn from our experiences, but more importantly strive to do better in the future. Instead of puzzling over what we could have done differently, we should instead be asking how can we do better next time. This shifts the focus from the past – a fleeting memory – to the future, where we’ll actually have an opportunity to do something about it.

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Sep 272013

A new study by BMO found that almost half of us are working at our dream jobs 😀 My immediate reaction was “Poppycock! Who did they ask? Celebrities and CEOs?”  The poll was conducted with a sample of 1005 Canadians and is considered accurate +/-3.1%, 19 times out of 20.

47% of respondents say they have already found their dream jobs. And 70% feel they are valued at work. In terms of what determines job satisfaction it seems gender and income are noticeable factors. 51% of men say they’re employed in their dream jobs 🙂 but only 43% of women can say the same 🙁 For households with an annual income of $50,000 or more, 69% say they look forward to going to work each day :), but only 58% of those making below $50,000 said the same 😕


Being a little skeptical of these numbers I decided to conduct my own survey and put the scientific method to the test! I asked a friend who works at a local engineering firm. She replied no, she’s not working the dream job. Then I asked myself the same question. The answer is of course YES 😀 I get paid to sit in front of a computer in an air conditioned building and design logos and backgrounds in Photoshop all day. How can anyone not like my job? :mrgreen:  So let’s see… That means 50% of the respondents I surveyed said yes, they are working at their dream jobs. Wow, my own results matches that of BMO’s survey, especially if we factor in the margin of error. Hmm, so maybe it is true then 😯

Tip of the Day: To increase your job satisfaction be a man, and to make more than $50,000 in household income 😉

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