Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Pearls of Wisdom

I lecture 4 subjects at a tertiary education facility.  During my lectures I feel it necessary to impart pearls of wisdom to the uninformed 18 - 25 year old students who attend my classes.  On several occasions I have been told by the students that they wish I would have a lecture based purely on these pearls.  So in response I am creating a blog post, on request, to share these pearls.  I will continuously update this post as I gain more wisdom (I know what you're thinking, is it even possible for me to become wiser than I am??) and feel the need to impart it on the youth of South Africa.

As I say to my students "cup your hands like an oyster, here comes another one of Lisa's pearls of wisdom.........."  (yes they do think I'm a bit nuts, but let's face it, nobody ever remembers the wilting wall-flower but we all remember the educators that were a bit off-the-wall).

So here goes.......

WAIT!!!!!  STOP THE BUS!!  I've just read through my pearls and I better put in a disclaimer now.  These are my PERSONAL thoughts and beliefs.  I have taken some from inspirational people and I have changed some to suit my own beliefs.  If you are sensitive, you may be offended.  Read them anyway.  I don't expect you to substitute my judgement for your own.

MONEY - the Lisa Walker smack-down

Pay off your credit card FULLY at the end of each month
It is amazing how fast credit debt can creep up on you and once you're behind the curve it is almost impossible to get ahead of it again.

If you ignored pearl number 1, go and look at the "finance charge" on your credit card statement every month.

Don't be an ostrich and pretend it's not there!  That is the amount of money you are p*ssing down the drain every month.  Think to yourself, would I throw that amount of money away? What could I buy with that?  How many drinks, shoes, meals, spa treatments [insert whatever you value here] have I just thrown away?  AND if I don't pay the full amount now, how many more things will I throw away next month when I discover the delight shock of interest on interest?

If your bank wants to do ANYTHING for you, they will be doing it to make money.  

Before happily signing up for some new service, think of the reason for them to offer you something and then decide if you want to pay that or not.  There is always a hidden cost and those small monthly amounts add up.

Don't get a Gold card (what??)  

Yes.  There are absolutely NO benefits to a Gold card except the increased charges, oh and of course you can SAY you have a Gold card.


Buy property as soon as you are able.  

Stop renting as soon as you can.  Downsize if necessary but start investing in an asset.

Shop around for bond/ home loand/ mortgage rates

Never take your bond/ home loand/ mortgage over more than 20 years 

Try to pay off your bond/ home loand/ mortgage as soon as possible (get an access facility and put all your savings in there)

Never miss a payment (unless you're feeling lonely).  Even the phone call to remind you to pay will be billed to you and not just a couple of bucks

Draw out your monthly requirement of cash from the ATM.  

It costs a fixed amount to draw up to R1,000 and will therefore cost you a small fortune if you draw out the same amount but in smaller denominations over a few days.

Don't draw out a month's requirement of cash from the ATM if you have no willpower and you will buy shoes with the grocery money!!

Don't think that you're saving money by buying a car every time you pay one off because you get a tax rebate or a car allowance.

Imagine if you paid-off your car and had that monthly car premium in cash and just paid tax on it.  Worst case scenario you'd still have 60% of it to spend on something else - maybe save the premiums and pay less on your next car.......

Save up at least 50% of the cost of your new car before buying it.  

SHOCK HORROR!!!  I know!!!  Am I serious??  How uncool!!  If you paid your car premiums into your bond you'd probably pay your bond off over a fraction of the time and live bond free!  But here I need to add a cautionary......  that would require an ego-adjustment.

Get an ego-adjustment.

Read the part on the agreement that tells you how much you are REALLY paying for your car over the specified period, it's an eye-opener that the little Fiat you want is going to cost you the price of a medium BMW once you're done.

If you buy a Mercedes or a BMW everybody will know how much you earn because you will buy the best model that you can possibly afford and anyone can work that one out.


Sometimes you have to STOP SPENDING and live on salty cracks for a while until you get your finances under control.  JUST DO IT! (Thanks Nike)
True success is not measured by the amount of money you have. You will only understand this when you are older.

There will always be someone wealthier and someone poorer than you. 

Don't try to "keep up with the Jones's."  The only judge is your self-esteem therefore there can never be a winner, only losers.

Money isn't everything but it is necessary to survive. 
Put money into perspective.


You can't change a person, no matter how much you want them to be different.  Don't change yourself for anyone.

You can't make someone love you, no matter how much you love them.

If you can't be yourself and say what you want to say, when you want to say it, END IT.

If he / she is too busy to make plans with you or prefers to spend more time with other people, they are not interested in you.  If they were, they would move heaven and earth to be with you.
Love doesn't hurt.

Don't invest more than you're prepared to lose.

Don't make somebody a priority in your life when you're just an option in theirs.
Sex is not love.  No matter how good it is, if afterwards you feel empty, you should shut it down.  It will eat away at your self-worth.

If your partner won't use protection, they don't respect you, your body or themselves.

Pregnancy, even unplanned pregnancy results in the joy of the promise of new life. However, pregnancy means unprotected sex, which also means possible HIV infection which results in no joy and promise of death.

Anti-retrovirals are not simple medications. The side-effects can be debilitating. Don't be misled into thinking your life will be the same.  Use condoms.
Abortion is not an intelligent method of contraception.

If your partner doesn't want children - THEY DON'T WANT CHILDREN!  Don't think they'll "come around".

Don't bring a child into the world hoping to fix your relationship  problems. Raising children is hard enough when you really wanted them.  Children should not be born with a job to do.

Never ignore your old friends when you get a new friend or a new love.  
You will need their shoulders or advice one day and they deserve better than to be ignored.  If you don't, you will regret it.

You can never have too many friends.  Nurture them.

If a friend starts treating you badly, try to find out what the problem is. Make sure that you do everything in your power to fix the relationship, but if it is not going to work, be mature and walk away. You don't need people in your life who don't have your back.

If your new interest doesn't want you to see your friends and family, or feels threatened by them, they are trying to alleviate their insecurities by controlling you.

Family is everything. They will always be there to pick up the pieces.


Childbirth is not painful.  You have been conditioned to believe that it will be and you mind fulfils your expectation.

Never judge another parent unless they are abusing their child - ESPECIALLY if you don't have children of your own!

Children want to touch everything because things are pretty and exciting.  Be patient with them.

Often we think children know things when they are still learning. Be patient with them.

Let them make mistakes. Be patient with them.

Give your children rules and boundaries otherwise other children and their parents won't like your child and it will be YOUR fault when they "fall into a bad crowd."

Give them responsibility and teach them independence.

Overindulgence of your children is CHILD ABUSE!  It feels good to YOU to give, but it takes away THEIR sense of achieving something themselves. It is crippling.


No matter how much your parents SUCK they probably did the best they could.

Forgive them because you will miss them when they're gone.

Learn from them, good and bad.  Repeat the good, forget the bad.

Nobody will love you unconditionally like your parents will. NOBODY!

Phone your mom, even for 5 minutes, even when you're busy and haven't got the time.  
She misses you and wants to know what you're doing and how you're keeping.  When you're a parent, you'll want to be phoned.

When you know better, you do better.


You know your body better than anybody else.  Listen to it.

Medicine and medical science is fantastic (and if I have a heart attack I don't want a Homeopath performing open heart surgery on me) but don't forget there are alternatives which may work for you.  

If you feel uneasy about anything, get a second or even third opinion.

Medical professionals do not have all the answers. Take their input as advice and then use your own gut to decide the way forward. 

As a parent you know your child better than any doctor and you will fight until you find an answer for your child. If the advice doesn't resonate with you, keep searching. Never give up.

Eat properly.  You don't need to take any supplements if you eat a variety of food from all the main food groups and get in your omegas.

Sugar is highly addictive. Eliminate as much as you can. Don't give in to the marketing machine that it's natural. The only natural thing would be if you sucked the sugar cane. 

Eat clean and train dirty. 

Pesticides, added hormones, preservatives, GMO, colourants, flavourants and E-numbers are making everyone sick but very slowly so we are not noticing it. 

Whole foods (preferably organic) and grass fed animals and free range poultry are the path to good health. If you don't try to incorporate these into your diet now, you will be forced to later.

Convenience (highly processed) food is great but the rule of thumb "if you don't recognise it as a food, don't eat it" will serve you well. E.g. vienna sauceages (what's in those?) Prepared meals, chips, biscuits etc These are good hiding places for chemicals.

You didn't put on 10kgs in a month.  Don't expect to lose 10kgs in a month.

Weight loss is simple - reduce intake (less food, particularly junk) and increase energy expenditure (exercise).


Attitude is EVERYTHING.

You can be anything you want to be if you work hard enough.
Don't study anything or become anything that you don't want to.

Follow your bliss.

Don't listen to anybody who doesn't believe in you.

People who don't want you to succeed are toxic.  Remove them from your lives.
Education opens a lot more doors and access to bigger salaries and better positions.

The world doesn't owe you a living.

Work hard.

Never give up.
Keep looking for alternative solutions.

Be honest. 
The only real thing you have in life is your "brand" and your good name.  The world is a very small place.  Lie, cheat or steal just once and someone, someday will remember when you least expect them to.


You will never know how high you can fly, until you spread your wings.

Your time is precious.  Never "spend" time with anyone.  "Invest" your time.

Don't let people who do so little for you, control so much of your feelings and emotions.

Common sense is not very common!

Life has no remote.  Get up and change it yourself!

Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.

You teach people how to treat you.


I believe that you are exactly where you need to be in your life.  You have allowed everything that has happened to you to happen. If you don't like it, change it. 
 If you do like it, savour every moment.  

Whatever course your life has taken, be grateful for the experiences you have had and make sure that you get the most out of what you have left.

Love, laugh and have fun. Happiness is a choice every day.

You do not have as much time as you think you do.