Make Your Life a Masterpiece

(By Brian Tracy)

This is the age of achievement. Never have more people accomplished more things in more different fields than they are accomplishing today. More people are becoming successful at a faster rate than at any other time in history. There have never been more opportunities for you to turn your dreams into realities than there are right now.

The Seven Ingredients of Success

Your ideal life is a blending these seven ingredients in exactly the combination that makes you the happiest at any particular moment. By defining your success and happiness in terms of one or more of these seven ingredients, you create a clear target to aim it. You can then measure how well you’re doing. You can identify the areas where you need to make changes if you want your life to improve.

Peace of Mind

The first of these seven ingredients of success, and easily the most important, is peace of mind. It is the highest human good. Without it, nothing else has much value. In corporations, peace of mind can be measured in terms of the amount of harmony that exists among coworkers. The wonderful truth about peace of mind is that it is your normal natural condition. It is the basic precondition for enjoying everything else.

Health and Energy

The second ingredient of success is health and energy. Just as peace of mind is your normal and natural mental state, health and energy is your normal and natural physical state. If you achieve all kinds of things in the material world, but lose your health then you will get little or no pleasure from your other accomplishments. So imagine yourself enjoying perfect health, and think of how you would be if you were your ideal image of physical fitness. Then strive for your mental goal of fitness and health.

Loving Relationships

The third ingredient of success is loving relationships. These are relationships with the people you love and care about, and the people who love and care about you. They are the real measure of how well you are doing as a human being. At almost any time, you can measure how well you are doing in your relationship by one simple test: laughter. This is true for companies as well. High-performance, high profit organizations are those in which people laugh and joke together. Examine your relationships, one by one, and develop a plan to make each of them enjoyable and satisfying.

Financial Freedom

The fourth ingredient of success is financial freedom. Achieving your financial freedom is one of the most important goals and responsibilities of your life. A feeling of freedom is essential to the achievement of any other important goal, and you cannot be free until and unless you have enough money so that you are no longer preoccupied with it. When you decide exactly what you want your financial picture to look like, you will be able to use this system to achieve your goals faster than you might have imagined possible.

Worthy Goals and Ideals

The fifth ingredient of success is worthy goals and ideals. To be truly happy, you need a clear sense of direction. You need to feel that your life stands for something, that you are somehow making a valuable contribution to your world.

Self Knowledge and Self-Awareness

The sixth ingredient of success is self-knowledge and self-awareness. To perform at your best you need to know who you are and why you think and feel the way you do. It is only when you understand and accept yourself that you can begin moving forward in other areas of your life.

Personal Fulfilment

The seventh ingredient of success is personal fulfilment. This is the feeling that you are becoming everything that you are capable of becoming. It is the sure knowledge that you are moving toward the realization of your full potential as a human being.
Action Exercise

Take the brush of your imagination and begin painting a masterpiece on the canvas of your life. It is for you to decide clearly what would make you the happiest in everything you are doing.

UBS story – We have heard this before!

Kweku Adoboli is now a famous personality and figures prominently in the Hall of Fame along with Nick Leeson and Jerome Kerviel. It appears that Kweku was not very original in his act. He followed Jerome to a large extent. However, he could not match Jerome in the amount as Kweku could notch up only $ 2.3 billion against Jerome’s $ 7 billion.
The modus operandi of Kweku is becoming a bit more clearer now. From media reports, we can make out the following:
• Kweku was a dealer in the “Delta One” desk of UBS in London. This desk typically trades in securities like Exchange Traded Funds(ETFs) which can be easily hedged by buying their underlying components. This near perfect correlation explains the name –as two instruments with a delta of one rise and fall in near unison.
• This is a high-volume and low- margin business making money on bid-offer spread on client trades.
• But the investment banks often try to supplement slim market making profit with arbitrage (trading) income, say by spotting tiny differentials between the price of traded ETF and its underlying stocks. Such opportunities commonly arise due to high volume and very liquid market.
• Kweku built up loss making positions over the past three months in ‘Index Futures’ of S&P 500, DAX and Euro Stoxx.
• UBS says that these positions were taken within the normal business flow of a large global equity trading house as part of ‘properly hedged’ portfolio.
• UBS further said that the true magnitude of the risk exposure was distorted because the positions had been offset in Bank’s systems with fictitious, forward settling, cash exchange trading positions, allegedly executed by Kweku.
• UBS has said that no client positions have been affected.

This is almost the same tactic used by Jerome at French bank Societe Generale in 2008, leading to a $7billion losses as the trades were unwound. The same area of business could suffer two colossal failures in risk management in a span of three years at two European banks is really astonishing.
However the episode raises mainly the following questions:
a. If there are huge mismatches (i.e., positions covered with fictitious transactions), it should have become apparent with cash-outflows which would be huge.
b. Trade confirmations with clients should have been obtained independent of the traders by the back-office
c. There is a practice in most of the large trading banks to check the intra-day positions, apart from end of day positions. Whether such a check was inadequate?
d. The market risk and operational risk oversight was not effective or is there something which is yet to come out in the open?