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Delayed Gratification Set Me on a Good Financial Path for Life



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I’ve lived by the, “Save early, spend later,” motto, influenced greatly by my pragmatic mom, since I first began earning money at a young age. I started with odd jobs like babysitting and refereeing hockey games, moved up to working at fast food restaurants, and, eventually, started my own cleaning and car-washing businesses.

At each step, I learned about delayed gratification: I could either spend my money on video games, sports equipment, and other material things, or I could invest it in my future. Fortunately, I chose the latter. 

In my early teens, I took all of the money I’d earned and put it towards a down payment for a condo. That choice and others taught me about saving and managing my money. They’re key lessons that everyone can use to achieve long-term financial security, and the good news is that it’s never too late to learn them. 

Making My First Investment

When I was fourteen years old, my hometown of Vancouver was in the early innings of a condo boom. My mom had picked up some part-time work with a good friend of hers who was a realtor.  One day, she asked me to go with her to look at a property under development. 

When she and I walked into the less than five-hundred-square foot show suite of the apartment, I knew in my gut that I would buy it. The deal was to put 10 percent down against the $150,000 purchase price upon signing and then pay 5 percent per year until completion, which was scheduled for three years out. 

 The purchase was a no-brainer for me. Although fourteen may sound young to buy real estate, by that time I had saved enough for the down payment, and I liked that it would be a forced savings plan over the next few years. Then, I thought, by the time I reached my late teens or early twenties, I’d have a place to live in or rent out for passive income. 

Buying the condo was my first real investment, and it was also the first step I’d take toward good long-term financial habits. Delaying gratification wasn’t a choice most fourteen year olds would make, but it’s one that, by its definition, paid off later. It’s also something that anyone at any age can practice to get more out of their money. 

“The ability to discipline yourself to delay gratification in the short term in order to enjoy greater rewards in the long term, is the indispensable prerequisite for success.” – Brian Tracy

Learning the Language of Money

Hearing my condo story, you might be wondering whether I made all the right decisions. The answer is “absolutely not.” Do I make all the right decisions today? Of course not. But making financial choices, whether they turn out to be right or wrong, lets you learn. 

Like it or not, money is another language. It takes time to learn the language and then it takes a lifetime to be fluent. When I hear some people say, when asked who manages their money, “I’m not good at it,” or “Someone else deals with that for me,” I speak up. I’m passionate about how pivotal learning the language of money is to one’s financial foundation. This specified literacy undoubtedly contributes overall to your life’s health and stability.

For example, I’ve never had credit card debt in my life; the debt I had—the mortgage for the condo—was on a hard asset. Just looking at the different interest rates convinced me to never take on credit card debt; while a mortgage could be 2 to 3 percent interest, a credit card is often close to 20 percent on the debt. Six or seven years later when I sold the condo, not only had I built equity in the property, it had more than doubled in value. 

Part of becoming fluent in the language of money is learning the difference between good debt (delayed gratification debt that will benefit you in the future) versus bad debt (money down the drain forever). If you can tell the difference, you can avoid many of the common money problems people face. 

Create Your Own Good Fortune

When I bought my condo, I admit I had some good luck with my timing as well as support from my mom. She committed to “matching” my contribution to the down payment and annual payments while I would be solely responsible for the mortgage payments. But I was in the game and willing to write the check into a long-term investment.

At that age, I could have gotten distracted by something shinier like a new car, but I put it all on the line for something I had a feeling would appreciate with time instead. The good news is that you don’t need luck or generous parents to start creating your own fortune. You can begin right now by delaying gratification, avoiding bad debt, and making financial choices that will serve you well in the future. You have all the opportunity in the world to build a life like mine; I just started a little earlier than most.

Brian Paes-Braga is a passionate entrepreneur who learned the value of hard work and humility from his parents. Brian realized that despite his financial success, he was personally bankrupt. This started him on a journey to balance his well-being with financial achievement, and today, Brian is an advocate for a more conscious kind of capitalism. A proven business leader who’s built multiple mission-driven companies, Brian is passionate about sharing his wisdom with younger generations to help them navigate the ups and downs on their journey toward authenticity and a meaningful life.

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The Imbalanced Problem with Work/Life Balance

Balancing is for your checkbook, gymnastics, and nutrition; not for your people’s work/life ratio.



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Balance…it requires an equal distribution of value between two or more subjects to maintain steady composure and equitable proportionality. (more…)

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How to Find the Courage to Start New

Change is scary, but it’s a normal part of life.



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It’s 2023, a new year, new you, right? But how do we start over? How do we make the changes in our lives that we crave so much to see?  (more…)

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Failing is More Important Than Succeeding

Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures.



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People often consider failure a stigma.  Society often doesn’t respect the people who failed and avoids and criticizes their actions. Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures. Not to have endeavored is worse than failing in life as at some stage of your life you regret not having tried in your life.  (more…)

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5 Indicators of Unresolved Attachment Trauma



Emotional Attachment Trauma

Trauma caused during specific stages of a child’s development, known as attachment trauma, can have lasting effects on a person’s sense of safety, security, predictability, and trust. This type of trauma is often the result of abuse, neglect, or inconsistent care from a primary caregiver.

Individuals who have not fully processed attachment trauma may display similar patterns of behavior and physical or psychological symptoms that negatively impact their adult lives, including the choices they make in relationships and business.

Unfortunately, many people may not even be aware that they are struggling with trauma. Research estimates that 6% of the population will experience PTSD in their lifetime, with a majority of males and females having experienced significant trauma.

Unresolved attachment trauma can significantly impair the overall quality of a person’s life, including their ability to form healthy relationships and make positive choices for themselves. One well-known effect of unhealed attachment trauma is the compulsion to repeat past wounds by unconsciously selecting romantic partners who trigger their developmental trauma.

However, there are other less recognized but equally detrimental signs of unprocessed developmental trauma.


Five possible indications of unresolved attachment trauma are:


1.  Unconscious Sabotage

Self-sabotage is a common pattern among individuals with unprocessed attachment trauma. This cycle often begins with hurting others, which is then followed by hurting oneself. It is also common for those with attachment trauma to have heightened emotional sensitivity, which can trigger this cycle.

This pattern can manifest in lashing out, shutting down, or impulsive behavior that leads to feelings of guilt, shame, and self-loathing.

Many people with attachment trauma are not aware of their wounds and operate on survival mode, unconsciously testing or challenging the emotional investment of those around them, and pushing them away out of self-preservation and fear of abandonment.

This can lead to a pattern of making poor choices for themselves based on impulsivity.


2. Persistent Pain

Chronic pain is a common symptom that can stem from early trauma. Studies have shown a connection between physical conditions such as fibromyalgia, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, insomnia, muscle aches, back pain, chest pain, and chronic fatigue with the aftermath of chronic developmental trauma, particularly physical abuse.
Research has found that individuals with insecure attachment styles, such as anxious, avoidant, or disorganized, have a higher incidence of somatic symptoms and a history of physical and emotional abuse in childhood compared to those with a secure attachment style.

3. Behaviors That Block Out Trauma

Trauma blocking practises are used to avoid the pain and memories connected with traumatic events.
Emotional numbing, avoidance, and escape via briefly pleasurable activities that distract from terrible memories or suffering are common examples. Unfortunately, this escape habit stops people from successfully processing and recovering from their trauma.
Furthermore, when the pain resurfaces, more and more diversions are necessary to continue ignoring it. This can be seen in compulsive behaviours such as drug or alcohol addiction, emotional eating, numbing oneself through relationships, workaholism, excessive or dangerous exercise routines, compulsive internet or technology use, or any other compulsive behaviour used to distract yoursef from intrusive thoughts and emotions.
These actions have the potential to prolong a cycle of avoidance and repression, preventing persons from healing and progressing.

4. A strong need for control

It’s understandable that some people may struggle with control issues in their adult lives, especially if they felt helpless or vulnerable during their childhood.
This can happen if someone had an overbearing caregiver who didn’t let them make their own choices, expected too much from them, or didn’t take care of them properly. As adults, they might try to control everything in their life to feel more in control and less anxious or scared. This might be because they didn’t feel like they had control over their life when they were a child.
It’s important to remember that everyone’s experiences are different and it’s okay to seek help if you’re struggling with control issues.

5. Psychological Symptoms That Are Not Explained

Individuals with a history of developmental trauma may experience a range of psychological symptoms, including obsessive-compulsive behavior, intense mood swings, irritability, anger, depression, emotional numbing, or severe anxiety.
These symptoms can vary in intensity and may occur intermittently throughout the day. People with this type of trauma may attempt to “distract” themselves from these symptoms by denying or rationalizing them, or may resort to substance abuse or behavioral addictions as coping mechanisms. This can be a maladaptive way of trying to numb their symptoms.

What to do next if you’re suffering from emotional attachment trauma?

Everyone’s experience of healing from trauma is unique. It’s important to be aware of whether you have experienced childhood developmental trauma and how it may be affecting your relationships as an adult. Sometimes, the effects of trauma can be overwhelming and we may try to push them away or avoid them.
If you notice that you’re engaging in these behaviors, it’s important to seek help from a trauma therapist who can support you on your healing journey. Remember, you’re not alone and it’s never too late to start healing.

There are several ways that people can work to overcome emotional attachment trauma:

  1. Therapy: One of the most effective ways to overcome emotional attachment trauma is through therapy. A therapist can help you process your experiences, understand the impact of your trauma on your life, and develop coping strategies to manage symptoms.
  2. Support groups: Joining a support group of people who have had similar experiences can be a great way to find validation, empathy, and a sense of community.
  3. Mindfulness practices: Mindfulness practices such as meditation, pilates, prayer time with God or journaling can help you become more aware of your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, and develop a sense of spiritual connection and self-regulation.
  4. Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT): This is a type of therapy that is specifically designed to help individuals process and recover from traumatic events.
  5. Building a safety net: Building a support system of people you trust, who are there for you when you need them, can help you feel more secure and safe in your life.

It’s important to remember that healing from emotional attachment trauma is a process and it may take time. It’s also important to find a therapist who is experienced in treating trauma, who you feel comfortable talking with, and who can help you develop a personalized treatment plan.

If you desire to work with me on healing your wounds and unlocking the aspects of you that were never realized so you can achieve more success in your life then head over to and join my weekly LIVE online mentorship calls.
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