10 Things it Took Me 30 Years to Learn
- Society judges us because we judge us.
How often do we have thoughts about things we want to do, but are too afraid of what other people may think? I was faced with this dilemma a few years ago. I had built the facade of stability by working in Chicago’s business and health care sectors. I was making money to travel, to shop, to fine dine with friends, and to buy all sorts of items to fill my closet. The problem? I suffered from irritation – dreading the day’s activities before I even got out of bed in the morning. I suffered from boredom and covered up my lack of inspiration with weekend wining, dining, compulsive shopping, and many nights out on the town. I placed obligation on my significant other to make me happy, when the real cause of my unhappiness was that I’d buried my passions deep within me. I’d chosen to take the easy and reasonable road to a safe and stable adult life. My discontentment was boiling to the surface, and something had to give.
But what will they think…my employer, my friends, my family, and society…what will they think if I give it all up? This question wasn’t worth my time, and here’s why.
Once I gave credit to myself for being the only person on the planet who could truly create my happiness, it became very clear that what society thinks doesn’t matter. I had subscribed to society’s superficial equation for achievement and it only got me so far. I learned a lot from taking that road, and every step of the way prepared me for what was to come.
I’d become so in touch with what I didn’t want that what I did want became quite clear. I wanted to travel the world and do something of meaning, share my gifts and love with others who’d be happy to receive it, and live by the seat of my pants. The delusion of stability was no longer fooling me. I was now willing to take risks. I was only able to do that because I quit judging myself, and just chose to do the things that excited me – unapologetically and without reservation.
Yes, many people in my life thought I was crazy as I departed on a plane to volunteer in third world Africa, but what I learned later is that my bold move inspired people. Society quit judging me because I chose to drown out my own inner judgment and just allow happiness to guide me. I quit lending my energy to the judgment within me, and this silenced the judgment outside of me. This basic decision afforded me the freedom to live happily.
- There are people on this planet living in two separate worlds.
At any given moment, we either inhabit one of two worlds:
- Powerful, Passionate, Love
- Powerless, Obligatory, Fear
Take a look at your life situations, one by one, and ask yourself which world you are inhabiting in that moment. Take great freedom in knowing that you can choose to inhabit either world at any time. Read on to find out more.
- We can’t be ourselves until we love ourselves.
This sounds like a cliché, and I hope that it will become that because humanity will be well served if this truth is turned into widespread action. Here’s something you may not be aware of – if there’s something you don’t love about yourself, you are putting a lot of energy into suppressing or hiding that aspect of yourself. This means you’re not fully being yourself.
Believing in yourself is an act of self-love. Let me ask you, what courageous action can you take in your life without believing in yourself? How much of your ideal happiness can you pursue without self-belief? Self-love = self-belief = the courageous pursuit of happiness. If you’re spending time in unhappiness on a regular basis, it may be time to step back and ask yourself where you can love yourself a little more. But how does one love more?
Start by talking to your inner child. Think about the empowering words you would use to encourage a child to follow her dreams, and then tell that to your inner critic every time those thoughts of self-doubt arise. This simple task will powerfully redirect your attention and energy, and open you up to a whole new world of freedom and possibility.
- There is a very simple formula for creating what you want in life.
Contrary to popular belief this formula is not: education = career = money = happiness. If you’re still reading this article, you’ve probably already learned that this superficial equation for happiness does not always work. Why? Because this formula leaves out the basics: thought, word, deed.
A good exercise in creating what you want is to work backwards:
- Imagine yourself already experiencing that which you desire.
- Then, imagine the deeds that would be required to bring this to fruition.
- Now, imagine the thoughts and words that would be required to induce this kind of action in your life.
You have now identified the thought which sponsors the experience you want to have.
Use the sponsoring thoughts and words which can create what you want! Choose to think and say them over and over again. When fear or doubt arises, catch yourself, and re-choose that sponsoring thought. Do this until your sponsoring thought becomes your mental habit. What you’re practicing here is what scientists refer to as neuroplasticity. Keep up the good work, and just see what happens!
- The planet is so sick because individuals do not have inner peace. We are all connected in the experience of toska.
What is toska? It’s a Russian word referring to the experience of suppressed irritation, boredom, longing, loneliness, and sadness. Not one person reading this right now can deny having felt toska at some point in their lives. Sometimes we experience this for long periods on end, and sometimes in sporadic bursts. Toska is the product of not being at peace within ourselves – of wanting something to change outside of ourselves. It is a sick condition of forgetfulness. What are we forgetting? It’s simple: in order for things outside of us to shift, we must first bring light to the things within us that need shifting. When we fail to do this, our emotional unrest turns into cynical attitudes about life, people, and the world. By looking out there in the world all the time and being irritated and unhappy with it, we perpetuate illness of the planet.
Aren’t you sick and tired of it yet? The media is telling us the world is blowing up, and you tuck yourself and your children into bed at night believing the world is a dark and scary place. Turn on the lights! Turn on your inner light so you can see what you can transform within yourself to create more power and happiness in your life.
It’s a fact: the instant you make yourself a little happier is the instant the world becomes a little happier. Start small…go as big as you want!
- Practicing perception as a choice allows us to stay in a place of power and learn from any situation.
How does one practice perception as a choice? It’s easy.
- Pick any situation in your life. Let’s start with something big – go ahead and think about that situation that is causing you the most irritation, grief, or anger. Close your eyes and play this situation out in your mind for a few minutes. Feel every emotion that comes to mind. Notice everything about the situation that bothers you.
- Now, pretend this situation is a test that you are forced to take repeatedly until you pass it. In other words, you don’t get to quit having this unwanted experience until you pass the test. How do you pass the test? I’m glad you asked.
- Read carefully. You pass the test by asking yourself what this situation is here to teach you? Life’s challenges are really teachers in ugly disguise.
- Now, focus. You won’t pass the test by claiming to have learned things about other people, institutions, or the world. You only pass the test by learning something brand new about yourself. What is this situation revealing to you about you?
You ace the test by putting your newfound self-discovery into powerful action in your life. What can you do this week to apply what you’ve just learned? You, my friends, have just opened some exciting new doors for yourself!
- Synchronicity is a tool that can be used to guide us in the path to greatest happiness.
You’ve heard of serendipity, and you’ve all experienced a really uncanny coincidence at some point in your lives. I invite you to jog your memory right now to recollect a profound coincidence you’ve experienced. Now, let’s talk about coincidence in a brand new way.
I describe synchronicity as a profound coincidence that you intentionally attract through the creation process of thought-word-deed. When you use the creation process with great intention and emotion, you’ll be surprised at what shows up in your life. I’ve spent three years writing a book which documents the unfolding of my lifelong dreams from one synchronicity to the next. In sharing one of my experiences here, I hope to inspire you to recall when synchronicity has occurred in your life, and to allow it to guide you to more great happiness.
By September 2013, I was working in South Africa as part of the United States Peace Corps program. Feeling lonely and thirsty for new mentors, I wrote my intentions to manifest new teachers who could deepen my understanding of how our thoughts attract things into our lives.
The next day, I went to a seminar. One of the facilitators, David Patient, began speaking. His first statement claimed that his greatest teacher was a disease he was diagnosed with 30 years prior. Hearing this bold statement of turning adversity into opportunity, I knew I had found my new mentor. I couldn’t wait to speak with David after training, and sparked up conversation with him and the co-facilitator, Neil Orr. I showed them a book I was reading, written by Louise Hay, whose work is dedicated to teaching people how to heal their bodies and their lives with their thoughts and other natural approaches. David and Neil were very familiar with Hay’s work, and before I knew it, they offered me a spot in their exclusive leadership program. The duo is still among my greatest mentors, and it’s safe to say that I would not be courageously living my life’s purpose today without this incredible synchronicity.
The secret to attracting synchronicity is to get clear about what you want, have faith that it can happen, expect it to manifest, and be open to coincidence. That stranger standing in line next to you could just be the miracle you’re looking for – it’s happened to me so many times that I’ll be writing books about it for a lifetime. If it can happen to me, it can happen to you. The path to your greatest happiness unfolds before you…
- Personal evolution is the greatest feeling that no one can take from you.
You’ve heard it a million times before – “change is the only constant.” I tell you this is not always the case! There are some things on an inner-personal level that can remain unchanged over the course of a lifetime. Most prominently are the seemingly elusive thought, feeling, and belief patterns that we permeate all of our experiences. Science says that many of our behaviors in life are programmed in childhood. Without gaining awareness of these behaviors, and the deeply rooted beliefs from which they stem, we just continue to replay them throughout our lifetimes- whether they are for our highest good or not. In other words, a vast majority of the humans on the planet do not evolve beyond old beliefs and behaviors. This is often prohibitive to their greatest happiness.
Some people like to use statements like, “it runs in my family,” or “it’s just the way I am.” These statements leave zero room for change, and zero room for evolution. The one certainty these statements brings is familiar experiences being repeated over and over in our lives. Choosing to look at ourselves through new eyes may not always be a pain free and easy decision, but I promise you this: whatever you find through this introspective journey is power! You get to use it to change, improve, and evolve in any direction you choose.
There is no one and nothing that can take your new discovery away from you. As such, you’ve got the gift of personal evolution now and forever. You can evolve yourself into a bolder, happier, and freer version of you any time you choose! All you have to do is look within.
- Our foundation of thoughts, feelings, and beliefs may not be serving our highest good.
Everything we are currently experiencing in our lives is built upon a foundation of thoughts, feelings, and beliefs, or what I call the existential trilogy. The trilogy is the product of our past experiences. Thus, we create our current experiences primarily based on our past.
If you are experiencing things in your weekly life such as irritation, anger, sadness, or boredom, it may be beneficial for you to take a look at your foundation, and break down the contents of your trilogy. Are your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs serving your highest good? The answer to this is found in another question: are you totally happy with every aspect of your life? If the answer is no, then it’s time to build a new foundation.
How can you recreate a foundation that serves you? There are a number of ways, but the most simple way I’ve found is to imagine what your ideal happiness looks like, and then consider what thoughts, feelings, and beliefs would be required to create that happiness. Now, take what you’ve just learned, and make up a brand new trilogy for yourself. In doing so, you’ll be planting new seeds in your garden of life. Be prepared for new fruit. Life’s a garden…dig it!
- A lot of the stimuli in the world is pure distraction.
This one is simple. How much time do you spend paying attention to the news? When is the last time you saw an entire nightly news special on all the good things happening in the world? Has it ever happened?
Here’s a news flash for you – there are good things happening in the world every single moment of the day. There are beautiful people gathered in the name of planetary progress, waiting for newcomers to grab their tools, choose a task, and join the A-team. The reason humans aren’t seeing it is because they’re too distracted watching the world blow up in fear-based newscasts, or reliving the personal drama created by living through old foundations that aren’t serving their highest good.
Dear humans, we’re better than that! Let’s focus on creating everything we want to experience rather than standing powerless in the messy stuff we wish would go away.
It took my entire lifetime to learn these 10 things, but now that I have, I beckon you to join me in this world I’m inhabiting… to be with me here – where’s it’s powerful, passionate, and full of love.