Lately, I have grown sick and tired of allowing the lack or presence of money to define the quality of life I lead. Yes! Money is an integral part of the world today. It is important to put in the work to make, save and invest money. Pray tell, what happens in those moment in between work and earning?
In fact, I have asked myself this question more than twenty times over the past four weeks . My heart sunk lower each time an answer eluded me. I lost appetite, started having panic attacks and could not even hold a conversation with my closest friends. Anxiety had me in its grip! I was desperate for release. Furthermore, the vibrancy that once characterized me had become strained; a masquerade if you may. I hated the pretense! Whenever someone would walk up to me, I’d paste on the brightest smile and squeeze the words “I’m okay” from between trembling lips. Tears threatened to fall but didn’t. Even my tears betrayed me!
Having read The Richest Man in Babylon (a marvelous read!), I was ready to change my ways. Debt had to go! I needed to start saving and investing those savings! I was pumped but my ship never seemed to come in. Acutely aware of my thoughts thanks to T. Harv’s Secrets of the Millionaire mind, I knew I had a tonne of work to do and I was willing to do it.
The glitch in my plan came when the money I had been banking on got delayed week after week after week until I became despondent. I had done the work, made the plans and I continue to build my financial and personal development muscle with books every day. There was nothing I could say was my fault (save for the situation i was trying to change obviously)! I was ready to reap my reward but the vineyard had disappeared. (or so it seemed)
A fortnight after the realization that my vineyard had vanished hit me, I could not stand the sight of the hollowed out excuse of myself that I had become. I don’t know if someone reading this can relate. Have you ever been in that place where you feel like life had dealt you blow after blow and you just don’t want to stand up again? Do you ever look in the mirror and wonder “How in the world did I get here?” Are you fed up of the aura of despondency that seems to cling to you day and night?
I had had it!
“God made man. Man made money. Now, man uses the presence or absence of money to determine what God can and cannot do!”– Anon
Those words rang clear in my mind. My Creator and Provider has never been limited by the money I have or don’t have! He said He had come to the earth that I may have abundant life! For this reason, I had no business walking around like that had changed.
You were neither created to suffer nor were you created to survive life. You were not put on this earth to just get by. How can we then live in abundance granted that you and I have been given abundant life. ?
#1. MINDSET CHANGE
Stephen Covey terms this as the Paradigm Shift in his book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
“We must look at the lens through which we see the world, as well as at the world we see, and that lens itself shapes how we interpret the world…” ~ The Pygmalion effect7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
If you want to change a situation, you have to first change yourself. And to change yourself effectively, you must change your perceptions.Steve Covey
Without getting too technical, here’s the bottom line- your quality of life will never exceed that in your mind.
#2. OBEY THE LAW OF TRADE OFFS
“People will cling to an unsatisfactory way of life rather than change in order to get something better for fear of getting something worse”Eric Hoffer
Life is not set in stone. It is dynamic. It is constantly moving like the river. Life will either beat you down or pass you by if you refuse to give up the things that are robbing you of your joy similar to the stones that stand in the river’s way.
“How does she know that?” you ask. Well, I’ll tell you…
At the ripe old age of 18, I made the decision to grow myself. Lady Luck shone on me and presented me with an opportunity to work with a growing direct sales company. I trained, presented, made calls and grew the team. Achieving the first major rank in the company was as a result of hard-work and lots of help. I was happy!
Until I wasn’t…
The anxiety that gripped me every day threatened to hospitalize me. I had misspent my earnings and for this reason what was once a source of joy had become a burden. My blood pressure was unhappy too!
I knew I had to make a decision; it was either me or the company, peace or undeserved praise and accolades, a healthy body or stress. I hated waking up, going to bed and everything in between. I hated what my life had become and that made me resent the work I was doing as well. My numbers dwindled to nothing because I eventually stopped doing anything.
Don’t be mistaken!
Direct sales is a lovely business model. It has made very many people fortunes and given hope to millions. I just wasn’t making it work. The source of my unhappiness was that I was holding onto something that just did not serve to push me to my best self anymore hoping that I’d achieve what others had achieved, praying for a miracle. Alas! No miracle came.
After that discovery, I decided to let that business go, along with a couple of other crippled businesses. Because of this, I was terrified but most importantly I was free! Free of the guilt and shame of failure and other negative emotions and thoughts that had crept in.
A new leaf had been turned over. I moved into my uncertain financial future; relatively broke, in debt and without a clue on how I would move forward…but I still moved. I have since started a number of projects that serve to bring me joy and don’t feel like a burden.
Let go of the past, the things that are dragging you down, the lucrative position that is keeping you from growing and dive into the fray of life! Start over and write a new future for yourself.
Don’t do anything rash until you read and truly understand the law of trade-offs in John Maxwell’s book The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth.
Generosity is the easiest way to riches.Noah Baalessanvu
You heard right! Give! To the less fortunate and even to those who seem to have it all. Just give!
Hoarding your money won’t make it grow and neither will it make you enjoy abundant living. The joy that explodes through my heart when I give of my time to help kids learn how to read is almost addictive. There’s a beautiful feeling I experience when I tithe or buy someone in need a snack. The contentment that steals over my entire being when a friend I helped expresses their gratitude is worth it. The satisfaction from helping others become their best selves makes me feel … oooooooohhhhh there’s no word to describe it but I think you get the point.
Get out of your own head and help someone today, tomorrow and every day after that. The greatest capital to invest in is social capital. Try it out for just 30 days and see how your life will change.
#4. TAKE IT ONE STEP AT A TIME
In his book the Slight Edge, Jeff Olson tells a story of a little water hyacinth.
The Water Hyacinth (excerpt from The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson)
Once there was a little water hyacinth that grew near the edge of a big pond. It had dreams of seeing the other side of the pond, but when it murmured to itself about these dreams, the water just laughed and lapped at it dismissively. The other side indeed … for a tiny plant that couldn’t even move? Impossible!
The water hyacinth can typically be found floating on the surface of ponds in warm climates around the world, and it is a beautiful plant, with delicate six-petaled flowers that range from purplish blue to lavender to pink. This particular plant was a perfect specimen: very beautiful, very small, and very delicate.
—and this was something the water didn’t know—the water hyacinth is also one of the most productive plants on earth, with a reproductive rate that astonishes botanists and ecologists. A single plant can produce as many as five thousand seeds, but its preferred method for colonizing a new area is not to cast its seeds to the vagaries of wind and water, but instead to grow by doubling itself, sending out short runner stems that become “daughter plants.”
The first day this little water hyacinth appeared, nobody but the water even noticed it was there. Nobody noticed it on the second day either, as it doubled, nor on the third or the fourth, as it doubled again and then once more. It was so insignificant, in fact, that for the first two weeks, even though it doubled in size every day, you would have had to search hard to see it at all.
By day 15 ..
it had reproduced to cover barely one square foot of water, a tiny dollop of lavender-pink dotting the pond’s glassy green surface. On day 20, two-thirds of the way through the month, one person passing by the pond noticed the little patch of foliage floating off to the side, but mistook it for a lost bath towel or perhaps a discarded piece of wrapping paper.
More than a week later, on day 29, half the pond’s surface was still open water. And on day 30, just twenty-four hours later, the water’s surface had totally disappeared. The entire pond had been overtaken by a rich blanket of purple-pink water hyacinth.
Developing habits that lead to abundant living can seem like a daunting task. Doing exercise, eating healthy (heaven knows I’m still working on this one), practicing gratitude, giving; the list goes on.
My weight journey has been a real roller coaster ride…
I was at the point of giving up. I had tried a healthy eating program that worked for those 10 weeks and ate back most of what I had lost over the Christmas break. January brought a new resolve that progressively weakened as I failed to tame the monster in my belly. I continued to gain weight all over again. Sick and tired of failing, I decided to join an accountability group and work on my weight one little habit at a time.
I began with eating only until I was satisfied. I am currently working on doing 10 minutes of exercise every evening. There is almost no change in my weight right now. But I know if I stick with this course of action, over the next 4 years I will be fit and with and arsenal of healthy lifestyle habits that will be ingrained in me.
Like most people, I was going about it the wrong way. I decided instead to build the habits that support weight loss and let the weight loss come of its own accord. (I’ll let you know how it goes)
I could go on and on about abundant living…
(it’s my passion to help people live their best lives) but I wouldn’t want you to miss a single morsel. So I will work on A Guide to Abundant Living Part 2 to add all the other stuff not mentioned here.
Thank you for reading (this blog post was slightly longer than the others) <smiles sheepishly>
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