I used to be puzzled by rich people who are chronically angry and unhappy. It was a phenomenon to me because I couldn’t see a reason for it. But I found it comes from leading an extremely unbalanced life; too much expectation and not enough appreciation for what you already have.
Gratitude and appreciation are the number one virtue for what you currently have in life to ever experience true fulfillment. But how do you create balance in life? What’s the point of achievement if your life has no balance, leaving you feeling angry and unhappy?
There are three key decisions people make virtually every moment that determine the quality of their lives. Making these decisions unconsciously will have you physically out of shape, emotionally exhausted and many times, financially stressed. Making these decisions consciously, however, can literally change the course of your life today.
Millions of things are competing for your attention every moment. You can choose to focus on things that are happening right now, on what you want to create in the future or you can focus on the past.
Your energy flows where ever your focus goes. What you focus on and how you focus on it shapes your entire life. Which area do you find yourself focusing on more – what you have or what is missing in your life?
You’re human, so it’s reasonable if you think about both. But if you monitor your habitual thoughts, what do you find yourself spending most of your time thinking about? What do you most dwell on?
If you find yourself focusing on what you don’t have and begrudging folks who are better off than you financially, you need to acknowledge what you have to be grateful for in your own life, and some of it has nothing to do with money. Family, friends, health, opportunities and your mind.
Creating a habit of appreciating what you have can develop a new level of emotional well being and wealth. The real question is, however, do you take time each day to deeply feel gratitude with your mind, body, heart and soul? That’s where you will find joy, happiness and fulfillment.
Let’s consider a second pattern of focus that affects the quality of your life – Do you tend to focus more what you can control or what you can’t? If you focus on what you can’t control, you’ll have much more stress in life.
I’ve learned I can influence many aspects of my life, but I usually can’t control them. When I adopted this idea of focus, my brain had to make another decision. That decision is figuring out what does this all mean?
Basically, how you feel about your life doesn’t have anything to do with the current events in it, your financial condition or what has or has not happened to you. The quality of your life is controlled by the meaning you give these things.
Most of the time you’re unaware of the effect of your subconscious mind in assigning meaning to your life’s events. When something disrupts your life such as a car accident, a health issue or a job loss, do you think that this is the end or the beginning?
Does a devastating problem mean that God, in whatever form you believe that to be, is punishing you or challenging you? Or is it possible this problem is a gift from God?
Your life takes on whatever meaning you give it. Each meaning comes with a unique feeling and emotion. The quality of your life involves where you live emotionally. Let me give you an example from my own life.
I was in a car accident when I was 21 years old that paralyzed me from the shoulders down for the rest of my life. I was devastated. I have been on my own since I was 16 years old and now I couldn’t go to the bathroom by myself or feed myself. And this wasn’t a temporary state of physically being.
I didn’t go through stages of denial. When your doctor tells you you’re paralyzed from an injury that medicine does not know how to fix, what more is there to understand?
But I grieved. I grieved for the loss of me. I didn’t recognize myself. My face exploded with horrible acne from steroids used to stop my injury from becoming more inflamed than it was, and it made my face unrecognizable. Red, swollen, so oily that people thought I was sweating.
I was the most independent person I knew. In the beginning, my lungs weren’t even independent; they were paralyzed, as well, and needed a machine to make them work. I couldn’t wrap my arms around my family and friends to hug them, and I’m big on giving hugs.
I had just started a job on Wall Street that I not only excelled at, I loved it. My childhood had not been the easiest, but now, at 21 years old, everything was turning golden. Then this happened. All in all, I didn’t recognize myself.
Somewhere in those first few foggy months, I realized something. I had my mind, and I could choose to fill it with anything I wanted. This realization saved my life. Nothing had really changed, I just had to do things differently.
Almost 22 years later, I can’t imagine being anybody than the person I am now. Physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, I like me. It’s not because I didn’t have a choice due to my injury, it’s because my choices have made me who I am. The same is true for you.
Throughout the years of living injured, I’ve found as many opportunities in my injury as I can, taking control, and give them meanings that created positive emotions. Meaning equals emotion and emotion equals life.
A motivational speaker shared that thought with me and I remember it every time a challenging situation comes my way. When you can find an empowering meaning in any circumstance, wealth at its deepest sense will be yours instantly.
When you create a meaning in your mind, it creates an emotion, and that emotion guides you in making your third decision – What will you do?
The actions you take are largely shaped by how you feel emotionally. If you are feeling playful or outrageous, you are going to behave much differently than if you’re angry. The fastest way to shape your actions positively is to make the meaning of them something empowering.
Many of us blame the shape of our actions on what we experienced in our youth, even if what we experienced was upsetting. But we are adults now, and it’s time for you to become aware of the patterns that do not make you feel empowering.
The most common and crucial patterns you pick up from an unhappy childhood is when you are feeling frustrated, angry, sad or feel lonely. You can’t change your patterns if you are not aware of them.
And you may find yourself slipping back into these old emotional habits as you work on creating new habits, but that’s okay. The most important thing is to not give up changing them. In fact, reward yourself when you catch yourself slipping back into an emotional pattern that is not empowering. If I can do it, you can do it.
Now that you’re aware of these three extremely powerful, life altering decisions, look for people who are experiencing what you want out of life. I promise you that those who have a loving relationship or financial security have a totally different focus than those who chronically bicker or feel their financial situation will only improve if they win the lottery.
I’d love to share some incredible educational business information that has changed my life. It’s empowering and makes you feel as if building your own business has been waiting for you. Use the power of the three decisions you are now aware of in the process of deciding if it’s something for you!