Then I hit me. Well, it felt like an epiphany, but it actually came about in a much less magical way. I asked, and my question was answered.
When you say you want to make more money, what does that really mean to you? When you say you want to quit smoking, what does that mean to you? When you say you want to have more friends, what does that mean?
You know how people stop inviting you out when you keep saying “no” to them? I don’t think the Universe ever completely stops offering gifts. But I do think it slows down the gifts. I had said “no” to the Universe so many times that it probably got tired of being rejected!
When we ignore our passions, when we fight against our strengths, when we don’t meet our needs, we end up with a pervasive sense of restlessness. We may actually become physically lazy or energetically paralyzed. Our spirits are restless, but our bodies are stuck in confusion and overwhelm. Or we may continue to take action and stay busy, but we become emotionally depressed. We force ourselves to stay busy, and yet we don’t really feel energized or joyful.
How often have you caught yourself saying the following:
- When I graduate, then my life will really start.
- When I get a new job, then I’ll be fulfilled.
- When I get married, then I’ll have love.
- When I have a baby, then I’ll feel complete.
- When I have a lot of money, then I’ll feel secure.
Everything we think is like a boomerang. We get to choose if we want our thoughts to come back to bless us—or to haunt us.
When you think, “I don’t need millions of dollars” or “I don’t need to fly first-class,” you’re telling the Universe to put on the breaks.
Too often we let fear get in the way of expressing who we really are. Fear of punishment. Fear of rejection. Fear of ridicule.
One of my biggest fears throughout childhood and even through my twenties was confronting my dad—telling him what I really thought, how I really felt, what I really wanted.
A concrete step to help you achieve your goals is to practice monthly planning. This four-step process is something I recommend everyone do at the start of every month.
Did you know that the way you phrase your goals helps determine how easily you can achieve your goals? Just about any goal you can imagine is achievable. And, naturally, some goals will be easier to achieve than others. For example, having dinner as a family 4 nights a week is likely easier than losing 30 pounds or starting a new company.
The key to making sure we get what we really want is to base our decisions on a mindful want, not on a “should.”
I have had more than my share of crabby moments and crabby days. I tend not to sleep well (this is an ongoing, long-term project for me!), and I often wake up in a bad mood. Then, of course, things happen over the course of a day that may make me feel angry, frustrated, anxious or worried.
Marlin, Nemo’s dad in Pixar’s “Finding Nemo,” has this line that really resonates with me. When he and Dory are in the deep looking at the angler fish’s dangling bioluminescent bait, Marlin says, “I’m feeling . . . happy . . . which is a big deal . . . for me.”
Too much on your plate? Don’t try to empty your plate. Put down the plate!