Sunday, March 22, 2015

You Can't Wish for Abundance

Recently, I have noticed a marked increase in stories about and people “believing” that if you wish for abundance, or success, or a great relationship, or whatever, that the universe will manifest it for you. Note: YOU CAN'T WISH FOR ABUNDANCE! I know some people think by just thinking of or wishing for or buying something, like an abundance ring, is going to bring abundance into your life. It does not and will not. Having an amulet or lucky trinket and just believing makes as much sense as thinking that a leprechaun will bring a pot of gold to your door.

I am NOT saying that a positive attitude is not necessary to see and realize a better future. But in order to get to that future, it takes work and getting off your ass and developing into someone who earns abundance. Yes, sometimes people do get lucky, and good fortune smiles upon them, but it is usually a single event, and before they know it, that “abundance” has disappeared. Because I have met some seemingly bright people fall into the delusionary state of “think it and it will happen” I thought I would put down my thoughts on what it really takes to have abundance in your life. The assumption here is that a person with this “wish syndrome” is lacking in these very important tools needed to truly achieving their abundance.

1. Check Your Attitude.
While just “wishing” for abundance is not a prescribed method of achieving it, having a positive attitude of success is. The first thing to do is stop complaining and being negative about your situation. You might not even think you are being negative, but if you look at what you do when there is stress in your life, you might find yourself wallowing in your problems and not focusing on a solution or action plan. You also most likely have a group of people who throw you a pity party every time something goes wrong, which if you are hanging with these types (see Associate with the Right People), is more often than not. You do this because you want to feel better about yourself, instead of actually making yourself better. Sadly, this pattern throws you into a negative downward spiral that is hard to break free of unless you stop associating with negative people who are essentially emotionally stunting you and your chances for success.

One of the biggest things which screws up your future is your reliving your past dysfunctional relationships. You cannot let the past fuck up your future. In most cases, people who want abundance have never dealt with the baggage they are carrying from the horrific relationships they had with their parents, or siblings or spouses. They where conditioned to behave and believe in a certain “set of rules of behavior” and those dysfunctional episodes creep up into their present day life and totally circumvent any chance of true success or abundance. Without some serious soul searching that can retrain their thinking or getting some professional counseling, they are doomed to keep repeating behaviors learned in days gone by that sabotage anything they are doing in the present.

One thing that seems to be a constant with people “wishing” for abundance is that they have in the past blamed everything externally to them for their lack of abundance, and believe that if they can control that, then the universe will be right and happiness with come their way. Grow up! There is no one to blame but yourself for the situation you are in. If you cannot change how you think or feel, then get help to do so. In the meantime, here are some tips that might help you move away for a delusional view of abundance, and apply a more realistic one. First, admit that you might not be happy and that you think wealth will make you happy. It will not. Only you being happy will make you happy. You will not be able to change anything unless you come to the realization that something needs to change, and that is you. Stop the cycle of wishing things were different and take control of your thoughts and reactions to events and people. In most cases, you are projecting your fears and insecurities you developed long ago onto other people and situations, and now you have to learn how to stop that. Yes, this takes work, but it is well worth it.

Next realize that instead of believing in a mystical force, understand that your optimism is a powerful force that you can chose. We are not born with a positive or negative attitude, but over time, it becomes formed from the perspective of your experiences. A positive attitude can be developed with practice. As an example, no matter how difficult the challenge, you CAN come up with 3 to 5 aspects of it from a positive point of view. Also, be kinder to yourself. Just because you have made some mistakes and are not where you want to be, it is not the end of the world. With some effort, you can start to control your destiny today, and that begins with attitude. A good start is to learn to say positive affirmations about your good features and accomplishments on a daily basis. You can also locate a quotation or passage that elicits a positive feeling in you every day, and say it aloud as often as you can.

And finally, to truly be successful and have abundance, you have to visualize what needs to be done and the end goal you hope to achieve. This is NOT the same as wishing. Essentially, you have to stop reacting and start adhering to a plan of action that needs to be formulated and acted upon. So, this brings me to the next section on putting your brilliant plan to work.

2. Attitude is not everything, action is.
“Action is a great restorer and builder of confidence. Inaction is not only the result, but the cause, of fear,” as Norman Vincent Peale stated. Just wishing for success will never make it happen. The great divider of those who discover abundance and those who do not, is action. Now, before you act, you will need a plan. And a well thought out plan takes some thinking and calculating. So, set aside some time to really think about what you can do today to get you to your success down the road. And once you have developed that plan, you will need to adhered to if you ever want a chance of reaching your true abundance. Action is the key to success, but action without a plan is just wasted effort. There is absolutely nothing more important than being proactive.

No amount of positive thinking, reading books, attending seminars, coaching, or counseling will ever substitute for taking action. As a corollary, you gain no real knowledge, perspective or insight until you actually do the things you learn. If you are truly serious about being successful and acquiring your abundance, do not let a single day go by without moving towards a goal you set for yourself. Consistency, the day in and day out routine of practice, is the dominant reason behind the success of any individual. Despite the simplicity of this, it is amazing how few people actually excel in putting their ideas and knowledge to action. You must commit to this action, for as William Hutchinson Murray stated, "Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now." When you commit to putting your thoughts and ideas for abundance to action, the universe conspires to make it happen.

3. Value and put in the Time.
OK, you did not develop your personality and idiosyncrasies in a day, and believe it or not, you are not going to fix them in one either. If you want to change your self-sabotaging thinking and behaviors, you have to realize that this is going to be more like a marathon than a sprint, and ultimately will be a life-long process. Now, I am not saying you have to spend 8 hours a day working on this, but you do have to dedicate some time everyday on bettering YOU! That could include getting mentoring, centering yourself with meditation, changing your diet, or just finding some time to reflect on what you are doing. As an aside, make sure you get a dose of daily exercise that is strenuous enough to make you sweat. Not only is it good for your general health, the endorphins help with your mental and emotional well being too. A healthy body is a temple where you soul can dwell, a sick body is a prison.

This is the REALLY scary part, because you are going to have to change you! In order to get from wishing for abundance to actually achieving it, you are going to have to grow up! The first thing you may have to change is moving from a needy, self-centered person, also known as a taker; to someone who knows how to give. If you believe having a magic ring will bring you abundance, you are a taker. In actuality, when you help others reach their success and abundance, abundance will actually flow to you as well. This is probably that hardest thing you will undertake, but needy people do not bring anything to the table.  It is when others want you to succeed, will you then be successful. And that only happens when you have other people’s interest ahead of yours. Yes, givers get.

The biggest leap will be when you stop looking at problems in you life and instead start looking for solutions, and do not depend on someone else to solve them for you. Where you focus your attention determines your emotional state. When you fixate on the problems you are facing, you create and prolong negative emotions and stress. This anxiety you create is essentially reliving failure in the future. When you focus on actions to better yourself and your circumstances, you create a sense of personal efficacy that produces positive emotions and reduces stress.

While you are spending time in developing yourself into a person who can now actually achieve abundance, as opposed to just wishing for it, make sure not to waste time doing things that are not productive to that goal. You must value you time. As Denis Waitley succinctly puts it, “How you spend your time is far more important than all the material possessions you may own or positions you may attain.” Time is everything and “Until you value yourself, you won't value your time. Until you value your time, you won't do anything with it,” as M. Scott Peck puts it so well.

4. Associate with the right people.
If you want to be a winner, do not hang around with losers. Losers bring winners down. Winners cannot make winners our of losers, but losers can make losers out of winners.  As Ben Glass notes, “You are the average of the five people you hang out with the most,” so if you are not where you want to be, look at the people you hang around with, and 1, 2, 3 or 5 of them may be blocking your path to abundance. You have to get rid of negative people. You have to get rid of people who just want to take from you and do not have your best interests at heart. You have to get rid of people who are toxic, who act selfishly, and only bring drama and chaos into your life. I have seen it numerous times that a person with the potential to be a winner is associating with a cadre of losers, and they are stuck in the loser twilight zone. As Dan Cotter states, “Winners make sacrifices, losers make excuses.” Your sacrifice will be jettisoning those losers.

This is the area where most people tend to sell themselves short. They feel like because they have known someone most of their life or they are their parents or live with someone or are married, they have no way to control the chaos and the drama. This could not be further from the truth. Once you begin to identify those people who are blocking you from your abundance, you begin to recognize this dysfunctional behavior and remove it from your life. It starts with establishing a boundary which the toxic people cannot cross and drag you into their emotional chaos. Maintaining an emotional distance requires awareness. You cannot stop someone from pushing your buttons if you do not recognize when it is happening. Sometimes you will find yourself in situations where you will need to regroup and choose the best way forward. This is fine and you should not be afraid to buy yourself some time to separate from them to do so. But remember, in the end, your destiny lies in avoiding these emotional vampires.

The most important thing you can do is to have joy in your life and not let others limit yours. Unfortunately, if your sense of pleasure and satisfaction are derived from the opinions of other people, you are no longer the master of your own happiness. When emotionally intelligent and mature people feel good about something that they have accomplished, they will not let anyone’s opinions or derisions take that away from them. While it is impossible to turn off all your feelings of what others think of you, you do not need to be thrown into that emotional slippery slope of self-doubt, insult or hurt. Learn how to always take people’s opinions with a grain of salt. That way, no matter what toxic people are thinking or doing, your self-worth comes from within.

Finally, while getting rid of toxic people is important, since this is virgin territory for you, it is vitally important that you associate with other emotionally secure and stable people and learn from them. As Anthony Robbins says, “If you want to be successful, find someone who has achieved the results you want and copy what they do and you'll achieve the same results.” At first, finding and being able to associate with a winner will not be easy. But one thing most winners are, are givers and if you ask them for help, they most likely will help. But if you act like a loser and begin to just take and not offer anything to them, you will quickly find yourself on the outside again. When you approach successful people, tell them your plans and long term goals (and one of them better be to be helping other people succeed), and you may be surprised how quickly you are given entry into the winner’s circle.

Good luck and remember as I paraphrase William Ernest Henley, “It matters not how straight the gate, how charged with punishments the scroll. You are the master of your fate: you are the captain of your soul.” May the abundance you so desire now be manifested by your thoughts, actions, and associations. You can realize your dream of abundance if you take the steps above, and it starts with one step.

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