A prescription for Life.
The world is going through some major changes and with change comes potential turmoil and opportunity. I want to share this piece with you, because for that off chance it may help you when you read this if you are having a challenging point in your life.
As the year is coming to a close, I always feel a calling to reflect on my year. As I am nearing my 60’s, I quickly realized that what got me here, is not going to necessarily get me there based upon general sentiment in the business and real estate world. Building off of life lessons reflections, I knew I needed my new “prescription for life.”
This has been an incredibly amazing year when I step back and take that time to reflect. It was full of great things and experiences and it not without its ups and downs. What I found is when I was focused on being aware I found that I learned something from every experience.
Lesson 1: Happiness
One of the biggest lessons that I learned was that happiness is not necessarily an end result, but a conscious state of being. It is a choice of the here and now.
Being in investment real estate for more than 25 years, I have generally been that type of person that habitually looks for the potential issues, so that I can set up a system to overcome them should they arise. In other words, I was generally and constantly looking for the potential downside. I noticed that I was applying that mindset in my everyday life. I realized that what I found was more things that I “had to deal with”. Even my nephews called me “cranky Uncle Andrew”. It was very tiresome way to live and I wanted to habitually change how I looked at and interacted in life.
Over the last year, I have been on an intentional spiritual journey to approach life somewhat differently than I have over previous years. This last year I have been experimenting with focusing on my internal happiness and how I can recognize and expressing happiness so that I feel that internal change. I quickly realize that it is an inner game and not an outer game. This means that I am in control of my happiness and it is not necessarily based upon things, places people that are outside of me. It is a choice.
Lesson 2: Journey vs. Destination
Another thing I realized while on this intentional journey was that I have been a destination oriented person for most of my life and I needed to change my thoughts. So, the fundamental change for me came when I adopted the philosophy that Life is a journey not a destination and we are meant to experience it all. This may seem so obvious to some, but for me and the way I focused on goals it was the destination.I can enjoy my life or not enjoy my life no matter what is going on based upon my thoughts and how I am perceiving the world.
Lesson 3: Let go of what I can’t control
Intentionally letting go of the “death grip” I always seemed to have on life was challenging for me. I had to choose to trust in that things would work out somehow, accept and allow life to unfold (i.e. go with the flow more), and interact in it, not try to control it. I never really did control it despite my mindset. Weirdly enough, by adopting this attitude change, it allowed me to feel freer. I am actually more content and less stressed as all I am working on is recognizing where I am, how far I have come, what direction I want to go, and taking that next step. I don’t have to know the exact way Ia going to get there. I set the intention and take action and enjoy the journey.
Lesson 4: Change your thoughts, changes your world
One of my mentors, T. Harv Eker stated years ago which was “nothing in life has meaning except the meaning you give it”. Since I remembered this idea, I have been adopting this mindset. I just had to start changing the meaning that I was attaching to people, places, and events to get different results. This meant that I had to look at these with a different set of filters or no filter at all. This has allowed me to let go of so much garbage thinking and perceived life rules. Not everyone is ever going to do things or act in a way that I want. So life is and I have the choice of how I want to perceive and or engage in it.
Lesson 5: Attitude of Gratitude
The biggest lesson of the year for me, lay in the Power of feeling and expressing Gratitude for all that is in my life. I connected with the power of Gratitude when I began to shift my focus in what can I feel grateful for in my life, not just what I intellectualize. The strength of the power of gratitude I found it when I joined my heart and mind in experiencing gratitude. It is almost like magic and I was hooked!
Here is my new habit prescription for life that I took to change/improve my inner peace and life in general. And I am grateful for this gratitude practice as it really has significantly changed who I am being. I am no longer being called “Cranky Uncle Andrew”.
MAINTAIN AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE AT LEAST TWICE DAILY!
Once I began this practice, I started to experience a shift in how I was feeling; my attitude towards life was more relaxed.
Here is my exact ritual.
1. In the morning, before I even get out of bed I find at least 3 things that I can FEEL grateful for. It could be that I feel grateful because had a good night’s sleep, I’m grateful for my warm and comfy bed, I feel grateful because I woke up to a sunny morning. The goal for this is to think and feel each item and preferably make them unique each day.
2. I also no do at least 1 guided meditation each day. I use a free app called “insight timer”, which can be found in apple store and google play. The app has literally thousands of guided meditation from under a minute to over an hour on any subject you can think of. Some of the key ones I frequently use include the ideas of gratitude and alignment of head and heart/mind and soul. I usually do about a 10 minute meditation first thing once I get out of bed before I do anything else.
Between these two activities, my day always starts better and I seem to be able to deal with situations throughout the day in a more effective and harmonious way than I ever did previously. Life still throws me curve-balls, but I am able to step back and find something that I can be grateful for in whatever lies within the curve ball. By shifting my focus to asking a quality question such as; what can I learn from this event, or what is the potential positive outcome that I am not seeing right now when I have heightened emotions, I am able to be way more effective and happy.
3. Before I fall asleep, I go through a similar ritual as I do in the morning. What are at least 3 things about today that I can truly feel grateful for. Again the key that makes this work for me is to actually feel the feelings of gratefulness for each thing. Sometimes I will find myself being and feeling grateful for a much longer list but I usually fall asleep during this process. It’s amazing.
4. Also before I sleep, I plant a seed about what is the 1st thought I want to have when I wake up. For the last 6 months, my morning thought is to “focus on the positive possibilities” for that day. Funny enough I seem to think about that in the morning so I feel more energized and positive.
I apply this idea of an attitude of gratitude to all areas of my life now. From real estate business perspective, I am truly grateful for the clients and friends who have allowed me to assist them grow wealth and ear a living. I am grateful for the team of amazing people around me that support my business from my mentors to developers, mortgage brokers, to other realtors, accountants, lawyers and so many more. Being grateful for the property management who look after my investment properties and the residents who live in my homes and help me pay off the ownership of these properties has actually improved how I am working with all involved. Then there are all the opportunities for being grateful in my personal life. The gratitude list can grow very large really quickly, which makes me feel even more grateful positive and inspired.
Through sharing a little bit about my story, I hope that it somehow helps you the reader if you are finding life seems to be a series of challenges. Now, I firmly believe that we are presented with challenges to challenge us to grow to our potential. Until we learn certain lesson we will be presented with similar challenges until we learn the intended lesson. That doesn’t mean to say that life has to be a struggle, but I look at these challenges as life lesson gifts and it changes the way I engage in the challenges. Because I am choosing how I approach a less than ideal situation, I gain a lot more positive energy and I seem to resolve them with less effort, and even sometime I don’t give them energy at all and they seem to resolve themselves.
I challenge you to try an experiment of adopting an attitude of gratitude for 30 days just to see if your life changes in any way.
If you find this article interesting and helpful, please feel free to reach out to me, or even share it.