“Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life.” - Dr. Wayne Dyer
Dr. Stephen Covey told us that, “Every human has four endowments — self-awareness, conscience, independent will, and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom…the power to choose, to respond, and to change.”
As we learned in the last chapter, it’s thoughts that can help us change our world and our lives. Thoughts coupled with our human emotions pack an even greater punch when it comes to challenging our beliefs and changing our lives.
When it comes to money, for example, it’s not really about what money you have, or wish you had, it’s really more about how you feel about the money. Prosperity is a real hot button issue for many of us. Dale Carnegie said it best, “Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.”
Emotions about our choices in life concerning money present us with a real challenge when it comes to realizing our capability for abundance. There are emotions that can block the abundance from flowing in our direction. Fear, worry and anger, along with resentment, jealousy, self-pity and envy are all dangerous emotions that will positively shut off the flow of abundance to your life.
While negative emotions can be helpful in life-threatening situations, aiding in our survival, it can seriously impact our lives when used inappropriately. You need that fear to tell you to run away or that anger to save a loved one, but when applied in the normal course of events, these negative emotions can be detrimental to your health, or even the health of others. It’s most assuredly detrimental to the flow of abundance in your life.
Eliminating these debilitating emotions, and showing forgiveness for yourself, as well as for others in your life, will re-establish the abundant flow back into your world. In the previous chapter, we talked about ridding yourself of negative thoughts and replacing them with positive ones.
And here, you must rid yourself of all negative emotions; push aside the pettiness and resentment, the fear, anger, and worry. Depression and doubt are extremely harmful to your body and your mind, and must be dealt with quickly and replaced with more positive emotions, before they can cause physical or mental illness. Jealousy, envy, and resentment hurt you as well as others and block the flow of abundance in your direction.
There is an Indian story of an old man and his grandson. The old man says to his grandson, “I have two tigers caged within me. One is love and compassion. The other is fear and anger.”
“Which one will win, Grandfather?” the boy asked.
The grandfather replied, “The one I choose to feed.”
Replace these negative emotions with positive reinforcement. Let your passions move you to show joy, happiness, and delight in everything you do in and everything you say. Words you speak to others, if based on negative emotions, can cause serious emotional scarring. Positive words will allow the abundance to flow naturally to you and to others in your little corner of the world.
Positive emotions such as love, happiness, peace, joy, and courage enhance our lives, give us energy, help us solve problems, and increase the happiness factor in our personal relationships. People with positive outlooks are more likely to be proactive in both their personal lives, as well as their professional lives. Having a more positive outlook seems to make it easier for them to make long and short-term plans for their lives.
You’ve probably noticed that optimistic people are just easier and more fun to be with than pessimists are. Their entire outlook on life is just more positive, upbeat, and happier. They don’t constantly complain, moan, and groan about life. If they’re not happy with their lives, they take some kind of action to change it. Optimists are very seldom depressed about conditions in their lives. They’d much rather search around and find a solution than be upset and depressed about the problem.
Pessimistic people, on the other hand, tend to look on life as just one more problem to solve. They don’t spend a lot of time making plans, or setting goals. They just don’t seem to see the point in the whole thing. Their experience tells them that it will all just fall apart eventually anyway, so why bother? Negative emotions literally sap the energy from them, leaving them unwilling or even incapable of taking action. No action equals no resolution; once again, they’ve managed to create a continuing destiny of failure.
Positive thinking leads to an upward turn of events, while negative thinking pulls you down into a spiral, from which it is very difficult to bounce back. Positive and negative reactions can also affect your physical health. More about that in the next chapter.
If you constantly look for the good in any situation you find yourself in, it will soon become a personal habit, influencing your life and even that of others you meet along the way.
“Look for the good in every person and every situation. You’ll almost always find it,” said Brian Tracy
Part of this positive flow is the ability to receive as well as to give to others. Allow them to send positive emotion in your direction too. Abundant emotional flow is a matter of give and take, back and forth. It flows from one person to another, and back again.
Another block to the flow of abundance is the mistaken belief that there simply isn’t enough to go around. Believe me, there is enough in our universe for everyone. There’s enough money, happiness, joy, delight, work, and relaxation for absolutely everyone. There is no end to abundance. The universe is constantly creating more of what we all need, all the time. When you allow the abundance to flow freely, you naturally attract everything you need, whether it’s money, people, or help in any way.
You must also give yourself permission to have what you want. You are entitled to be happy and to live in abundance. Many times you might feel you don’t deserve it, or aren’t worthy in some way of having all that you want and need.
Perhaps you feel it would be greedy to want it. Learn to be kind to yourself. Give yourself permission to be happy and fulfilled. It isn’t greed to want to better your own life and the lives of others.
You may not realize it, but you already have a great abundance in your life. Count your friends and family members as the blessings they are. Think about the contentment you feel at the end of the day. You’ve worked hard and have been highly productive. That’s a very satisfying feeling. Consider how fortunate you are when it comes to your life.
Forget about making that list of woes or things you might be upset about. Just think about the abundance in your life already. Some days, it might be more difficult to find things to be happy about or grateful for; you may have to look for some very small things in your life, such as when the sun is shining, your car starts without a problem, and the traffic is not as heavy as usual. How about being grateful and happy that you have a car and a chance to get out into that sunshine?
Your life is of your own design; you create it with every thought, every emotion. That’s your reality. You recognize it as yours. It reflects exactly what you think, what you believe to be true, and what you understand to be real. Everything you have, everything you are, you called to yourself and created yourself. “And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom,” said Anais Nin.
Whatever thought you concentrate on, that will become a reality. Belief makes it appear even more quickly. Once you’ve turned your attention to a desire, it’s as good as yours. You will create it. “Not what we have, but what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance,” said Epicurus
As humans, we have a tendency to associate some emotions to certain events in our past, and we allow those emotions to dictate our actions. Our likes and dislikes are associated directly with our emotions.
It’s important that we tend to our emotional health. Being self-aware is essential to our continued well-being, but emotions can cause us to act more impulsively than what is good for us. That’s why it’s important to set certain standards for ourselves, for what we’ll accept. Anthony Robbins said, “If you don’t set a baseline standard for what you’ll accept in your life, you’ll find it’s easy to slip into behaviors and attitudes or a quality of life that’s far below what you deserve.”
There are many fears that human beings face. Some of these are:
One of the most important human emotions is that of courage. It takes a great deal of courage to face your own fears and lay claim to what you know you deserve. Dorothy Thompson told us, “Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live.” And that “Courage, it would seem, is nothing less than the power to overcome danger, misfortune, fear, injustice, while continuing to affirm inwardly that life with all its sorrows is good; that everything is meaningful even if in a sense beyond our understanding; and that there is always tomorrow.”
In order to be courageous, you must face your fears. This is very difficult for many people. It’s so much easier to simply avoid the fear. The trouble lies in the fact that the more often you avoid a fear, rather than facing it, the more likely you will continue this avoidance behavior in the future, and probably for the rest of your life. Over time, this avoidance will spread out to all areas of your life, with your subconscious reinforcing all your fears.
Ambrose Redmoon told us that “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather judgment that something else is more important than fear.” So, we must make our lives, our personal growth, and happiness more important than the fear that holds us back.
In time, you’ll realize that you’ve let your fears rule your entire life, which has predictably grown smaller and smaller, with fewer and fewer changes as the years go by. Anais Nin told us, “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” If fears rule your life, then eventually, you’ll discover that there is nothing new in your life, that you haven’t grown and developed, and all you’ve done is just to avoid the fears along with everything you’ve associated with those fears.
If you face that fear and work through it, you reduce it immediately. Avoidance causes the fear to grow out of proportion, but facing that fear causes it to shrink down to manageable size. “Courage,” John Wayne once said, “is being afraid, but saddling up anyway.”
Developing your own courage shows a great deal of character and personal growth. Helen Keller was right when she said, “Character cannot be developed in peace and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”
We learn more through adversity than through triumph. That’s where courage is tested and character is born. Mark Twain told us, “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.”
Being resistant to fear, and eventually mastering that fear, can change your life. It can get you out of your comfort zone and make you feel powerful. You then have an abundance of courage.
What most of us are searching for constantly is security. It might be financial security or emotional security, but according to Helen Keller, “Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.”
And with everyone telling you to just accept your lot in life, make the best of things, play it safe, how can you find your way to personal growth and development? These well-meaning people tell you that you should keep that stable job (even if it doesn’t begin to fulfill you in any valuable way). They ask why you should even buck the system. “Go with the flow,” they continue to say, “don’t rock the boat, and don’t take any risks.”
It takes a great amount of courage to deal with these naysayers, to take the risks that will allow that abundance to flow in your direction.
Into everyone’s life, there will flow positive situations and negative ones. There will be happiness, as well as sadness; danger, as well as serenity. Sometimes, it may feel as if your life is one crisis after another, testing your fortitude on an almost daily basis.
The Chinese have a word for “crisis” which contains the characters for both “danger” and “opportunity.” That’s what you must look for in each situation or in every crisis that you face - the opportunity that it presents.
In the midst of a crisis situation, it may not be clear just what that opportunity might be; but if you consider it long and hard, it will show itself. “It’s not the crises that occur in our lives that shape our destinies; it’s how we cope with those crises, what decisions we make, what choices we make that shape who and what we become,” said Alanna Parke Kvale
You’ve heard the Latin phrase, ‘carpe diem.’ It means ‘seize the day.’ Grab the opportunity; don’t let it pass you by. You must live your life to the fullest, make each day count, and maximize the quality of your life. Remember, this is not a dress rehearsal; this is real life. Boris Pasternak said, “Man is born to live and not to prepare to live.”
What would you do if you could dispense with your fear? What would you want to accomplish? Would you travel extensively? Start your own business? Learn to paint or sculpt, or play the piano? If fear was not a word in your vocabulary, what would you do with your life?
“Most people have no idea of the giant capacity we can immediately command when we focus all of our resources on mastering a single area of our lives.” - Anthony Robbins.