“There is only one success—to spend your life in your own way,” - Christopher Morley
Does it ever feel like you just never seem to get ahead? Do you ask yourself why you still seem to come up with nothing, even when you work so hard? Does it seem like you’re always struggling just to get by? Even when you receive your weekly pay, the anxiety doesn’t go away, and you’re still left feeling frustrated and scared.
When most people think about abundance, they think of money and possessions. Abundance to them means a large house, complete with expensive furnishings, a fancy car, maybe a vacation home and a boat. Financial abundance might mean the ability to travel often, to be a part of what used to be known as the ‘jet set.’
Some consider money to be a mere symbol, a simple piece of paper, while others see it as a fair exchange for goods and services. We do our job and we’re paid those little pieces of paper in exchange. Then we use that money we’ve earned to purchase the needs of life: food, shelter, transportation, clothing, medicine, vacations, etc.
Unfortunately, some people have projected onto this simple resource their deepest fears and desires. Money takes on a larger image than just the ability to purchase what they need and want.
For some, money becomes the ultimate source of power. People feel they can get anything they want, if they have enough money. You’ve heard the expression, “money talks.” For a great many people, it certainly does talk, it says “goodbye.”
Money has been known to cause trouble in families, as well as in long-time friendships. It’s a sad fact that oftentimes those you love the most - your dearest friends - are the ones who resent your good fortune the most.
Thanks to a generous group of people, known as philanthropists, their money seems to say, “Let me help you.” They use their money, their “power,” for the good of others.
For some, money represents a certain security, a feeling of safety. Money stands between them and poverty. It keeps the wolf from the door. This can turn into an obsession however, giving them the feeling that there is never enough to feel safe.
We were taught to put some money away for a rainy day, but the obsessive ones put enough away for a tsunami. They really just need peace of mind, freedom from money worries. Gandhi said, “The world has enough for everyone’s needs, but not enough for even a single person’s greed.”
Then there are the intangibles. Money could mean freedom to be able to do whatever they wish, go wherever they want; they could travel and explore. Money could mean happiness - the ability to get their family whatever they need in life. It buys a comfortable home, puts the children through college, and keeps the family worry-free.
Some might consider a great deal of money a burdensome responsibility. It takes a great deal of time and energy to manage your money well, to make sure you don’t invest in something foolish that might deplete your money. Learning to become a good steward takes time and effort, but the advantages are well worth it. It’s yet another way you can aid your family.
For others, money is a wonderful opportunity. It’s a chance to help yourself and your family live a better life. It feels like an acknowledgment that you’re capable of caring for yourself and others in the world. Society smiles on you, the hard worker, approving of how well you take care of yourself and those you love.
These days, more and more people are asking, “What’s the point? I’m working longer and longer hours, yet I never have time to enjoy being with my family. I have many possessions that I’ve worked hard to attain, yet no time to enjoy using them. By the time I get to my two weeks vacation, I’m too tired to have any fun; all I want to do is sleep.”
By the time we get to where society has led us to believe we should be, we simply have to wonder why we were so anxious to get there.
What it all boils down to is not how much we have, but rather how we relate to what we do have. How much is enough? The answer will vary from person to person, depending on what we feel we need and want to have in our lives to make us happy.
Therefore, the real question of Financial Abundance is: what is your relationship to money? Do you control your money, or does your money control you?
“Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort,” said Franklin D. Roosevelt
The first step to Financial Abundance is determining what you truly want and need. Does your spending really reflect your values and your goals for your life? Do you find yourself buying just for the sake of buying, or do you buy what adds to your life, what enhances your life?
If the problem in your life is a feeling of having nothing, and needing to spend money to feel better (to get a high), then there truly isn’t enough money in the world to satisfy you. You are experiencing a spiritual void. Try to discover what you are really missing in your life, and use that knowledge to help you fill the void. Money is often not the answer to what appears to be money problems. More on this in the next chapter.
Try keeping a money log for one month; record every penny you spend for each item purchased. Don’t be afraid and don’t lie about your expenditures. The idea here is to determine your values - what you want out of life - and your purchases will tell you exactly that. Also, make a record of your saving habits. Ask yourself what you’re saving for. Is it for a grand getaway, a new car, a vacation vehicle, like a boat maybe, or a motorcycle? Be honest with yourself about why you’re spending or saving money.
Once you know and understand what you need and want from your money, it’s easy to figure out how much is enough. Now you just need to learn how to draw the natural flow of abundance into your life.
This is where the Law of Attraction comes in. You can actually create your own reality. Whatever you put out in your life is what will come back to you; whatever you focus on is what you’ll receive. Many expressions reflect this belief. You reap what you sow; or whatever goes around, comes around. So, be careful what you wish for, you will indeed receive it.
And when it comes to asking, heed the words of Jim Rohn, who said, “Asking is the beginning of receiving. Make sure you don’t go to the ocean with a teaspoon. At least take a bucket so the kids won’t laugh at you.”
Having said all that, let me remind you that just developing a positive attitude is not enough. All the affirmations in the world won’t do a bit of good if you don’t really believe what you’re saying. You can’t say outrageous things that you know your subconscious isn’t going to believe. Moreover, it certainly isn’t as simple as ‘wishing on a star.’
It’s also not as simple as throwing the desire out to the cosmos, then sitting back and saying, “Okay, I’m ready when you are, let’s go!” You can’t rush abundance; it comes to you at the proper time, and not a moment sooner.
And don’t bother trying to figure out how it’s going to come to you. You can’t second-guess the universe’s attraction program. Patience is a virtue, so now’s the time to be patient and see how things will come around for you. Too many people try to second-guess the universe, in effect trying to force things to happen their way. It’s not going to work, not even a little bit. You can’t force anything to happen, and things do not occur within your own personal time frame.
By the same token, you shouldn’t just throw your desire out into the void, and then hide in your room, hoping your wish will be delivered by FedEx in the next six to eight weeks. While you certainly can’t make things happen the way you want them to, you do have to get out there and be prepared for things to come your way.
Opportunity doesn’t knock and it doesn’t ring the bell. You must be out there in the world, and you must be ready to receive it. Roy H. Williams says, “Opportunity never knocks. It appears, flickering, like faulty neon at a nondescript fork in the road.” So, get out there in the world and be available for that abundance to find you. Hang out at that fork in the road. Something or someone interesting is sure to come your way.
This is also where your little ‘Doubting Thomas’ syndrome could conceivably kick in. You say to yourself, “Well, it hasn’t happened before, how do I know it’s going to happen now?” or “Hey, I don’t believe in magic tricks. I need to know scientifically how this could possibly work.”
Just because it hasn’t happened before doesn’t mean it won’t happen now. I know it’s hard to believe, but it works. Like the little girl in “Miracle on 34th Street,” you must repeat, “I believe, I believe, it’s silly, but I believe.”
Perhaps it’s because of something that happened in your past, or something you were taught; but valid or not, you’ve come to believe that it’s just the way life is and nothing can change it. And because this has been your experience so far in life, it has become one of your core beliefs, and from there it has become your reality. And if you do the same thing, the same way, you are guaranteeing the same results, time after time.
While it’s important to be yourself, you may have to challenge your belief system. You do what you do because of a tape that plays constantly in your head. It may have started through well-meaning parents or other guardians. Maybe they didn’t want you to be unhappy if things didn’t work out as you hoped. They may have been afraid you’d fail or be rejected; and so, in an effort to protect you from disappointment, they may have convinced you that it’s useless to even try.
That doesn’t mean you have to continue the cycle of these beliefs. You can choose to change your beliefs, which will change the outcome and thereby change your world. Somerset Maugham said, “It’s a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it.” Always strive for the very best in life.
That brings us to the next problem you may be experiencing. You have no problem believing that good things come to those who deserve to receive blessings. You just don’t think you are one of those who deserve the wonderful abundance that’s possible. You may even have some deep-rooted misconceptions about money in general that’s preventing you from receiving what is rightfully yours.
Maybe you have taken a look at the selfless, good people, like Mother Teresa for example, who lived a life of poverty and service. And you say to yourself, “See, good people just never have any money. It’s just not possible to be good, as well as rich.
Would it make you feel guilty to have more than others, as if they deserved it and you didn’t? Are you afraid that others will judge you for having wealth, that you might consider yourself better than them? This can happen with friends and families, unfortunately. Often, one person becoming wealthy can change the status quo between family members or friends.
Bad memories attached to the pursuit of abundance, in the form of wealth, might be holding many people back. It is not some memory or a force outside ourselves that keeps us from our dreams. Our own fears are doing a bang up job of keeping us from achieving all that we’re capable of in our lifetime.
Often, we tell ourselves that perhaps it was never meant to be. Fear keeps us in our comfort zones because personal and individual growth is too much responsibility, or just plain too scary. Challenging our beliefs and leaving our comfort zones just seems too risky somehow. Homeostasis, man’s tendency to live with existing conditions and his desire to resist change, is reaching epidemic proportions in our world today.
Fear of failure stops many people. They’re afraid to even get out there and try, for fear of humiliation and rejection. This can produce serious regrets in your life; because if you don’t try, you’ll never know for sure if you might have been a roaring success. There’s a Jewish proverb that says, “A man who lies flat on the floor will never fall.” And while this is true, it also means he’ll never move forward, never achieve success, never grow, and never have any fun.
Yet another fear that keeps many people from getting out there and enjoying the abundance they deserve is oddly enough, the exact opposite. They fear succeeding. That’s right, they are actually afraid of being a success. Strangely enough, it’s usually because they don’t want to be expected to do more than they’ve been doing. If they constantly fail, no one will expect more of them. Their feeling is that the more you succeed, the more others expect you to keep on succeeding. That’s more responsibility, more pressure, and more tension in their lives. Somehow, it seems easier to just keep on being mediocre.
One of the problems many people face in their search for the abundant life is the job they do or their career. If you’re unhappy with what you do for a living, that creates obstacles to the abundance you deserve.
You begin to focus on the dissatisfaction you feel concerning your job choice. Now your attention is on what you don’t want, rather than what you do want. If you start each day by saying, “I hate my job!” then you’re focusing on the wrong thing. Worse, you’re blocking the flow of abundance in your direction.
Perhaps you start noticing all the things you dislike about that job. There may be difficulties with co-workers, or with your boss. You might not even enjoy the actual work you’re doing. You find yourself staring out the window, wishing you were anywhere but where you are. That kind of thinking unfortunately leads to frustration and dissatisfaction. You want to move on; but at the same time, you’re afraid to leave. You’ve run into that same brick wall.
Remember, no one else controls your destiny except you! By remaining stationary, trapped in homeostasis, you are blocked; and the abundance can’t reach you. That doesn’t mean you run right into your boss’s office and quit your job, nor does it mean you tell off your co-workers and get yourself fired. You need to take action, but be sure it’s the right course of action.
Look before you leap! Take stock of your situation. Find out what you’re really looking for, what you really need, and what you really want out of life. Be specific. Don’t say, “I just want to be happy.” You need to dig down and discover what it is that makes you happy.
What do you need to do with your life? What is your passion? Michael Korda tells us “Your chances of success are directly proportional to the degree of pleasure you derive from what you do. If you are in a job you hate, face the fact squarely and get out.”
Your choice of work may surprise you, but when you discover what you want to do, you will feel an immediate sense of rightness, of relief. If you enjoy what you do for a living, but feel unhappy about your workplace, maybe other changes are in order. Finding a new way to coexist with associates or the boss might be all you need to create a productive work environment. What you’ll notice first though, is a sense that the blockage to your abundance has disappeared and the natural flow has returned to your life.
Wallace D. Wattles stated in his book, “The Science of Getting Rich” that there is nothing wrong in wanting to get rich. The desire for riches is really the desire for a richer, fuller and more abundant life and that desire is praiseworthy.
“All you need is deep within you waiting to unfold and reveal itself. All you have to do is be still and take time to seek for what is within, and you will surely find it.” - Eileen Caddy