Do the time-consuming prep work on the weekend. While not everyone has time to prep their meals on any given Saturday, what with kids' swim meets, Mommy and Me classes, or orchestra performances, this can also be a great way to teach your little ones their way around the kitchen. Then refrigerate or freeze the fresh-made meals, saving midweek prep time and energy. Use labor-saving technology. Do what your grandmother did: find whatever is fresh around the kitchen and throw it into the Crock-Pot or pressure cooker (such as an Instant Pot) before you leave for the day. Add chicken or beef or your protein of choice. (Also, you can buy chickens whole to save money.) Look for deals. You can use your local supermarket's phone app or the old-fashioned standby: coupons from mailers or the paper. Some supermarkets will reduce their days-old produce and place it in a sales section (typically at the back of the store). While the store can't keep it, it's still perfectly edible--just eat it right away or freeze it. Keep a record of how many meals you eat out. Try doing this for one month. You might be surprised at how much cash goes toward that "occasional" fast-food meal. Then set a monthly budget for eating out, and make it a once-a-week treat for everyone. Also, nowadays, you can actually find healthy foods at fast-food restaurants (salads, grilled chicken, and so on). Watch for cost-saving opportunities at discount warehouse stores. While big-box stores such as Sam's Club and Costco can suck the money right out of your wallet, you can also find great bulk deals on healthy items. Shop just for produce or fresh staples rather than getting seduced by that new 120-inch flat-screen TV. Grow your own vegetables or fruits in a backyard plot or container garden. Even if you live in the Snowbelt, or in an apartment, you can time your growing season and utilize window boxes or other indoor growing ideas.

It's about looking for the win/win and leveraging the skills of others in order to give you the outcome you want. Let's say that you want to become a writer, but after several attempt to finish your novel, you give up. You just can't figure out an ending that you like, and are bogged down by limiting thoughts such as, "Why do I even bother? I'll never finish this!" Your marketing friend offers to help you, but you decline, feeling like a failure of a writer. The truly successful and wealthy don't feel like this. They look for the opportunity within each setback and approaches conflict with the triumph catapult clip, instead of feeling defeated. If a millionaire wants to become a novelist, he may take a class on overcoming writer's block, or would seek out his marketing friend to help him learn how to SELL the book (valuable information that could amount to you becoming a best-seller.) In order to become wealthy, you have to think like the wealthy. Do you have a setback you recently went through? What opportunity is there for you to learn something, in order to become better, smarter, and wiser? Who can you partner up to leverage both of your successes to new heights? Make the lesson your focus, not the failure of a project/attempt that didn't work out the way you thought. Flood your mind with positives. Everyone has thoughts of fear, panic, sadness, boredom and complacency every once in a while. But, the wealthy have learned how to become positive thinking experts. If you're not getting the outcome you want, you might have a tendency to feel sorry for yourself, or feel like the victim ("Why does this always happen to me?") but the wealthy think differently. They redirect their attention on the good, the positive and the abundance they do have in their life. To the wealthy, everything is an opportunity for something better to happen. Anything can happen and because of this mentality, the wealth take risks, continually go outside their comfort zone and become innovators. Flood your mind was positives. Authority figures can be flat out wrong.

Remember the psychiatrist John Mack from Harvard, who believes in alien encounters? Should we believe such a bizarre claim because a professional in a position of authority believes it? Sometimes experts in one field make claims about another field. While it's certainly true that experts are more likely to be correct within their field of expertise, they may have no superior knowledge outside of that field. For example, Linus Pauling, an extremely intelligent individual who won two Nobel prizes, made a number of claims about the benefits of taking megadoses of vitamin C. He had no specific expertise or substantial research to back those claims, yet many people began taking large quantities of the vitamin on his recommendation. Remember, small samples are open to a lot of variance. The beliefs of one, or a small number of experts, are more likely to be wrong as compared to the consensus view of a large number of experts. Thus, we should look to the consensus of experts in a field when setting our beliefs. Sometimes there will be little or no agreement among the experts, and thus no consensus view. This should tip us off that there's probably little evidence to support a very strong belief. The bottom line is, the larger the percentage of experts holding a certain belief, the more confident we can be in the accuracy of that belief.4 As can be seen, our beliefs and actions can be significantly influenced by authority figures. In fact, our tendency to obey and believe those in positions of authority can lead us to make many decisions that we may otherwise feel are inappropriate. Realizing that we have such a tendency is the first step in making more informed decisions in the presence of others. But obeying authority is not the only way that others can influence us. We also conform to our peers. There is, however, another Catch-22. Mindfulness does not react to what it sees. It just sees and understands. Mindfulness is the essence of patience.

Therefore, whatever you see must simply be accepted, acknowledged, and dispassionately observed. This is not easy, but it is utterly necessary. We are ignorant. We are selfish and greedy and boastful. We lust, and we lie. These are facts. Mindfulness means seeing these facts and being patient with ourselves, accepting ourselves as we are. That goes against the grain. We don't want to accept it. We want to deny it. Or change it, or justify it. But acceptance is the essence of mindfulness. If we want to grow in mindfulness, we must accept what mindfulness finds. It may be boredom, irritation, or fear. It may be weakness, inadequacy, or faults. Whatever it is, that is the way we are. That is what is real. Mindfulness simply accepts whatever is there. If you want to grow in mindfulness, patient acceptance is the only route. Mindfulness grows only one way: by continuous practice of mindfulness, by simply trying to be mindful, and that means being patient.

The process cannot be forced and it cannot be rushed. It proceeds at its own pace. Concentration and mindfulness go hand in hand in the job of meditation. Mindfulness directs the power of concentration. Mindfulness is the manager of the operation. Concentration furnishes the power by which mindfulness can penetrate into the deepest level of mind. Their cooperation results in insight and understanding. These must be cultivated together in a balanced manner. Just a bit more emphasis is given to mindfulness, because mindfulness is the center of meditation. The deepest levels of concentration are not really needed to do the job of liberation. Still, a balance is essential. Too much awareness without calm to balance it will result in a wildly over-sensitized state similar to abusing LSD. Too much concentration without a balancing ratio of awareness will result in the "stone buddha" syndrome, where you get so tranquilized that you sit there like a rock. Both of these are to be avoided. The initial stages of mental cultivation are especially delicate. Too much emphasis on mindfulness at this point will actually retard the development of concentration. When getting started in meditation, one of the first things you will notice is how incredibly active the mind really is. The Theravada tradition calls this phenomenon "monkey mind." The Tibetan tradition likens it to a waterfall of thought. If you emphasize the awareness function at this point, there will be so much to be aware of that concentration will be impossible. Don't get discouraged.