March 20, 2019

The Secret to Having it All is No Secret at All

I love quotes that make you think.

I used to collect them in a little notebook my mom gave me years ago. I’ve since graduated to saving images of them on my phone, or typing them into my OneNote. The method of collection has changed, my love of them has not.

But let’s be clear, I don’t like vacuous, vague, or airy-fairy quotes that say nothing in very poetic terms. I despise those quotes.

I like quotes that stop you in your tracks (or mid-scroll, as it were) and immediately bring to mind a barrage of thoughts in and around that topic that really make you think about your current state of being.

I like being surrounded by things that make me think. Weirdly, it’s why I have a picture of myself with Cornell West on my cubicle wall at work. (I had the chance to attend a lecture of his a few years ago, and never since have I felt as challenged and thoughtful as I did after that event…but that’s a story for another day…)

I like things that remind me to think, to challenge, to constantly question the thoughts running through my mind.

I surround myself with thinkies

I also have a space in my office where I post “ideas and thoughts” on Post-It notes to ponder at a later date. This morning, this one caught my eye and it made me stop and think…

"We have a desire, because we feel a lack."

At first glance, it can seem like a vague quote. But I kept it because it really made me stop mid-scroll to ponder what it meant and how it applied to life.

The idea behind this thought is that when you carry with you an energy of deficiency, then you attract more deficiency. The more you concentrate on what you do not have, the less you have.

It’s nothing “airy fairy”. This isn’t “law of attraction / The Secret” mumbo jumbo. It’s actually rooted in science…confirmation bias, the “new car” effect…the seeking out of only that which your mind is focused on.

So you basically get more of whatever your mind is constantly attuned to or telling itself, because that’s where your attention is rooted.

Tunnel vision is very real

We tend to be very limited in our scope, as human, with regard to what we can see. I mean, we see a LOT, but we can only process little bits of information at a time. So what we focus on is CRITICAL to our overall well-being.

In this particular instance, it’s the idea that you have little, or worse: you have nothing. That fuels a longing. An emptiness. A despair.

The first day of spring is a GREAT time to shake off those mental cobwebs and start really seeing the abundance in your life already. Yes, already. It’s all about gratitude.

There’s limited space in there

Jay Shetty recently said that when you are in a mindset of gratitude, you cannot feel other things like sadness or envy. There just isn’t space in your brain for that.

So finding the time to be grateful, even for small things, is critical to overcoming that feeling of lack. When you focus on what is already good in your life, your confirmation bias will continually show you what is good, and as a result, you will attract more good.

And gratitude doesn’t have to be big, hairy, and audacious. It can be small. It can be quiet. It can be for the quiet moment alone before you start your work day.

It can be for the cold glass of water, or the hot cup of coffee, you had when you sat down.

It can be for the sun shining down on this first day of spring.

It can be for the air you breathe…and continue to breathe.

It can be simply for being.

If you start and end your day with gratitude, there will be no place in your life for lack to take root. And your abundance will multiply.

You don’t need to make wishes, and have regrets, and hope for this or that. You already have everything you need to live an incredibly fulfilling life. You’ll notice it more once you start seeing it.

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