What exactly is abundance? Technically it means an ample quantity or a degree of plentifulness. For our purposes let’s see it as a combination of several factors including personal fulfillment and economic prosperity as achieved through the law of abundance, personal goal setting, personal motivation with the ultimate goal of becoming one with abundance.
We all have different definitions of what personal fulfillment means to us individually. The key is to make sure it is real for you. List the things that are important to you. This would include obligatory items such as having a job, having a place to sleep, food, etc. It would also include those things that bring you satisfaction so it could range from exercising or reading to spending time with your family or coaching your kids. Take each individual item, regardless of which list it’s from and rank them, 1-10 (10 being the highest), by the level of joy derived from each.
The pursuit of anything with a score of 7 or higher is more likely to bring you closer to feeling full abundance. Remember this is not a list of what you necessarily should be doing but rather a true gauge of what brings you personal joy. Of course life always needs to be a balance between satisfying yourself and fulfilling your obligations to others, be it work or personal. Keep in mind that while you may derive pleasure from serving others please honestly assess your own feelings about this. Not all obligation is healthy especially if it is tied to guilt or fear.
One other element worthy of consideration are those things you have never done . . . there is an entire world out there with a multitude of new experiences waiting to be had. Among those experiences could be a handful of items that could be at the top of your list. You never know until you try. Fear of trying something new is one of the more debilitating habits that unsatisfied people suffer from. We fear what we haven’t experienced because our imagination fills in the blanks. As Hitchcock proved (paraphrasing here) he didn’t need to show actual horror, the audiences imaginations would conjure up far scarier things than he could ever put on film.
If someone tells you “money doesn’t matter” they are most likely either wealthy or they aren’t good at making money themselves. Perhaps a better phrasing might be “money isn’t everything”. That is true but it is also a limited way to think about economic prosperity. Money is the means by which we can better spread our wings and experience more of what life has to offer. Once you are able to see it from this perspective you are not only able to dispel the silly notions you were raised with like “money doesn’t grow on trees”, “more money, more problems” or “I don’t deserve to be rich” but, when combined with your areas of personal fulfillment, can lead to a wonderful work/life balance.
Take your list of things that bring you personal fulfillment and see if anything high on your list has professional possibilities. The closer your job is to a passion area the more economic prosperity you are likely to experience. But be careful, just because you love something doesn’t mean you have the requisite skills, aptitude or wherewithal to make a career of it. Unfortunately, sometimes when your passion becomes your job it starts to feel more like work and the passion itself can fade. Honestly, with few exceptions, it is better to find something at which you talented, have a high degree of interest in and can make a good living doing.
Understand that you don’t necessarily need to make millions to have economic prosperity. You only need to make enough to be able to afford to have, and do, the things that you value. This not only pertains to material objects such as cars, shoes or a nice home but also ancillary things like vacations, yoga classes or essence oils for calming anger. Economic prosperity opens up opportunities that otherwise would remain unknown or out of reach.
Lastly, don’t let anyone tell you that wealth is bad or evil. That’s mostly jealousy or envy speaking. It is also a favorite message of the media and entertainment worlds, most of whom, not ironically, are themselves wealthy. The truth is, there is more than enough money to go around. Wallace D. Wattles, in his classic The Science of Getting Rich, explains that creation, not competition, is the key to achieving abundance. Also known as building a better mouse trap.
Law of Abundance
So much has been written about the law of abundance since 1903 when James Allen wrote his seminal As a Man Thinketh. Basically the law of abundance means that what we believe, we receive. When we are positive then good things, people and events will find us. If we are negative the opposite holds true. How many people do you know that are sickly and have a great attitude? We all know one or two people like that but most people who struggle with their health are negative. Some may claim that the illness is why they are negative. The law of attraction not only believes the opposite but it also holds that the physical maladies can be offset by changing ones thoughts from negative to positive. A great example of balance is the philosophy of Feng Shui.
Affirmations and mantras play a central role in shaping our thoughts. When a future desired outcome is expressed in the present tense it moves the mind towards accepting it as a new reality. From Oprah Winfrey and Tony Robbins to Magic Johnson and Jennifer Lopez there are countless examples of highly successful people who credit much of their own accomplishments to the power of positive thinking. From a common sense perspective it makes tremendous sense that our thoughts impact our attitudes. When an athlete is “in the zone” it is tied directly to their level of confidence in that moment. Confidence, while also earned through shear hard work and repetition, is always enhanced when one has a positive approach to any given task.
Central to the law of abundance is the principle of gratitude. No matter where you are living or what your circumstances are you can choose to see the good, or the bad. They will each build upon themselves. So the question is . . . why would you choose to focus on the bad? Joy comes from the positive moments in our lives but also in our minds. This doesn’t mean ignoring the evils of the world but rather recognizing that focusing on the good will “rise all boats”. Why would you choose to be sad when you have a choice? Be aware of how your actions affect others from co-workers and casual acquaintances to family and significant others.
Personal Goal Setting
Now comes the challenging part . . . action! All of the positive thoughts you have won’t just magically appear on their own. Well actually they will on occasion but, if we want to have continuous abundance, it starts with a plan. So just how to set effective goals . . . start with aligning your goals with your value system. Always stay in alignment with who you truly are. Make sure your goals are always moving you forward, have specific milestones (mini-goals) that are achievable but aggressive and hold yourself accountable.
Keep your goals visible so you have a constant reminder of not only your ultimate goal but also the next milestone along the way. It’s also a good idea to keep a reminder of why you want to accomplish this goal (see next section) nearby as a reminder in case you start to waver in your resolve. When developing your personal goal setting make sure your goal is within your abilities. It’s great to aspire to be a professional athlete or opera singer but be realistic about what it would take to accomplish those goals and what else you might have to give up to get there.
Always expect roadblocks in your personal goal setting plans. If there is truly one constant in the universe it is change. An open acceptance to new things, as well as the curve-balls occasionally thrown at us, is one of the healthiest approaches to life. With this attitude nothing is overwhelming and is seen as either a mere bump in the road or as a lesson learned, though not to be repeated. If the change is external and out of your control simply take it in stride and adjust your timetable accordingly but do not use it as an excuse to stop pursuing your goals.
Everyone acknowledges the benefits of planning but many lack the personal motivation to see it through. How many people do you know that are still on schedule with their New Year’s resolutions come March? What they may be lacking is a true understanding of why they want, or even need, to change. Make sure you are clear on your goals and that you have the resolve to see them through. Are your goals something you want or are you doing it to please someone else? Either is fine so long as they are equally compelling reasons that provide enough personal motivation for you to accomplish your goals. An example would be promising your daughter that you will quit smoking. You may not really want to but you know you should and it would be setting the correct example for your child.
If you aren’t sure of your resolve then start with finding what you need to discover within yourself to stay motivated. It could be making a verbal commitment with someone you value that you will make this change. Often getting someone to do it with you can be very helpful, especially if they have the same goals, like a gym buddy. As mentioned earlier it is very helpful to have a reminder nearby of what your personal motivation is. This could be an alarm on your phone, a note in your wallet or purse or, in what is becoming more and more common, a personal tattoo. If you want to learn more about abundance see this list of recommended reading on the subject.
Finally . . .
So we’ve covered several factors leading to abundance including personal fulfillment and economic prosperity while adhering to the law of abundance and establishing personal goal setting and understanding your personal motivation. In the end please recognize that being happy is a choice. Not always an easy one some days but a vital choice that can completely change how you see life and how other see you. As you become more open and positive you will, as a direct consequence, attract similar situations and people into your life. So start now . . .