Christmas Debt – A Crummy Present and Future

Christmas debt is a funny thing – and it’s a troubling thing as well. It doesn’t show itself before Christmas. It’s always afterward that we see its familiar face. All the while we’re busy getting in over our head with holiday purchases, we’re really setting ourselves up for a future that isn’t so “merry and bright.”

I know of a few who save and plan for Christmas shopping, while so many more get themselves into a pile of debt because…well, because…. I’m sorry, I just can’t bring myself to invent an excuse or rationalization for financial irresponsibility, no matter what time of year it is. Handling our personal finances in a responsible manner requires that we do so all year long.

Being a good steward of our financial resources doesn’t allow for financial foolishness at anytime during the year, regardless of what others are doing and what our consumer-oriented culture has rammed down our throats for so many years. Sometimes the emperor has no clothes and there is no sense pretending otherwise.

It’s time to stop thinking that giving more presents shows more love – it doesn’t. If you want to give a great present at Christmas, simply try having a better presence in the lives of others all year long. It’s something that money can’t buy – yours or theirs – and all of the recipients will rightfully be indebted to you.

With this idea in mind, it doesn’t make must sense to me to give Christmas debt another thought. It isn’t worthwhile, it never has been, and it never will be.

Past, Present & Future – Learning to Move Past Regret!

The process of learning to love life is one which involves the detoxification of elements which hinder your personal growth. Many people believe they are happy and fully content with it all, but when you peel back some the layers of the surface, they hare hoarding feelings deeply seeded in past regret.

How do we move past regret? The truth is regret originates from the growth process itself. With time and experience, we gain the knowledge and wisdom, which creates feelings of anxiety over past decisions today. I call that the “what if” syndrome. We often say “what if I had done that, what if I stayed in that relationship, what if I had stayed at that job or what if I could find that person”. The truth is those ‘what ifs’ are taking up precious time in your life.

Learning to let go of the past is difficult, I understand, but it is essential. You must trust your past decisions as they were at that time regardless of how you have reevaluated the situation in the present. The decisions we made in the past help us to grow and understand our mistakes. When you made a decision over a decade ago, you cannot rebirth the outcome. Learn to accept the outcome as a lesson that has enhanced your life in a positive way regardless of how you view its effect.

In the present, stay away from the elements that serve as the source of your regret from the past. For example, if you let your brother borrow $500 from you ten years ago and he never paid you back, if he asks you today to borrow $500 today, would you let him borrow the money? The past experience has shaped the way you think today. Today, you make conscious decisions that will not create the same result as those in the past. Why? Because your past has shaped your thought process for you avoid the same outcome. You can face situations with confidence and create effective plans based upon experience.

But in the future, the reality is you must prepare for change and further growth. Take a moment to evaluate the outcome of today’s decisions and its potential effect on your future. In the scenario provided, if you lend your brother another $500, do you think he will pay you back? Do you think that it will cause conflict in the future if he did not pay back the debt? Do you think that he will wait another ten years to borrow more money? The choice is yours.

Your past is the past and there is nothing that can change past circumstances, however, learning how to overcome past regret is the key to developing a healthy mindset which will allow you to experience growth in every aspect of your life. And remember, now is the time to leap out on faith and dare to live out your dreams…..

Continued Prosperity!

I am a serial entrepreneur who is committed to working with others to dream big and give up the idea of a ‘can’t do’ mentality. By the age of 26, I was operating my first business out of my living room. I learned the art of networking, marketing and life skills by surrounding myself with people who represented success and the principles that I was seeking. I eliminated all of the negative forces that gave up on my vision and created an inner circle of winners. Today, I carry these same principles throughout every aspect of my life and I am committed to coaching others who are ‘pregnant’ with a dream on how to transition in to the birthing process. I live by the principle that it is time to leap out on faith and dream big!

Being Present – Start From Where You Are

“Don’t let a mad world tell you that success is anything other than a successful present moment.” – Eckhart Tolle

When I moved to London several years ago I didn’t really know the place at all. I’d visited a few times with my family for the odd touristy day out but still didn’t know my way around. So when it came to living and working here I knew I had quite a bit of learning to do.

I remember one day arriving at Waterloo Station wondering how to get to Aldermanbury, where I was due to start a new job. I had a vague idea but wasn’t sure about the quickest or most effective means of getting there. So I did what I thought was quite a sensible thing to do (particularly for a man). I asked someone! I approached a smart-suited, professional looking chap in the belief that he was probably a city worker and therefore bound to be able to help.

“Excuse me,” I said, “I’m not from around here. Please can you tell me the best or quickest way to get to Aldermanbury?”

He looked thoughtfully up into the air and pondered for what seemed like an age, and then replied, “Well to be honest with you, I wouldn’t start from here”.

“Thanks,” I thought, “what a rubbish piece of advice!”

The reason that little encounter has always stuck with me is because I think it’s a perfect metaphor for how many people go about trying to achieve a better life for themselves. They may have an idea of where it is they want to get to, but find it hard to take a step in the right direction because they resist the notion of having to start from where they are.

I’ve come to realise over the years that people can only experience dissatisfaction with their life when they believe that their situation should be different to how it actually is. I’ve noticed it with just about every client I’ve ever work with and I’ve certainly experienced it multiple times in my own life. Whilst I’ve helped a ton people work through an array of diverse and unique issues, the conversation that takes place time and time again is the one that invites us to accept reality just the way it is right now, before figuring out what to do next.

What we call ‘the stress of life’ rarely has anything to do with what’s actually going on, and has everything do with our thoughts and interpretations of what’s going on. As Human Beings we don’t ever get to experience the ‘real world’, we only get to experience our own thinking.

If we are unhappy with where we are right now, the cause of the feeling will be rooted in the thought that there is some other place we’d rather be. Or, if we are feeling stuck, that can only be due to the thought that there is a direction we are supposed to be heading in, otherwise there would be no reason to be unstuck.

When we contrast this with the way human experience really works, the only place we can ever get to is right here, right now. Thinking that we are supposed to be anywhere other than right here, right now can literally drive us bonkers.

The most stressful strategy we can adopt for motivating ourselves to change our situation (and don’t worry if you’ve been doing this, most of us have at one time or another) is to direct our emotional energy toward hating the way things are. We convince ourselves that if we can just muster up a strong enough loathing for our current landscape then we will be compelled to take massive action and finally break free from everything that has been holding us back.

There are a few reasons why this is a crappy way of doing things. Not least that it seldom works!
How many times have you heard people complain about how bad some aspect of their life is and yet months, if not years, later absolutely nothing has changed? Over time they just got used to feeling bad; they habituated into their negativity, which not only set them on a path of blaming and complaining, it also shut them off to the kind of inspired thinking they would have needed to turn their ‘right here, right now’ into something better.

In my experience there are three kinds of thought that can cause us to feel dissatisfied with where we are at:

1 – Thoughts about expectation

2 – Thoughts about purpose

3 – Thoughts along the lines of, “Anything would be better than this”

Thoughts about expectation are where we cast judgement on ourselves for how we are currently doing compared to a story we’ve been sold. All of our lives we’ve had the bar set for us by our parents, teachers, friends, colleagues, advertisers, glossy mags, even OURSELVES, with regards to the standards and accomplishments we should have reached by this point in our lives. It is where we measure the distance between who we think we are versus who think we should be and then allow the size of the gap (or chasm in some cases) to proportionately dictate how anxious we should be feeling.

Thoughts about purpose are when we get the idea into our heads that we are wasting our lives by not doing the things we would rather be doing to make a positive difference in the world and to make our lives count. It is where we feel that our circumstances and outside influences are preventing us from living our ‘true north’, leaving us stewing in frustration and resentment. The most common reason why this becomes a lingering issue for people is that they make ‘living their purpose’ dependent on a specific set of criteria having to be met.

If you ever wanted to feel really frustrated with your life then I absolutely recommend setting it up in such a way that you cannot be truly happy until you have enough money, energy, creativity, opportunity, support or freedom to do live it out in the specific way you’ve always imagined.

Thoughts that resemble “Anything would be better than this” are what crop up we are not connected to a purpose or direction and have no idea what it is that we want. What we do know, though, is that we’re not having fun right now and attribute that to whatever is happening on the outside. “I’m not happy and, although I’m not entirely sure why that is, it must have something to do with my job, or my boss, or my partner, or my location, so I want to change it all. I don’t know exactly what I’m going to change it to; I just know I’ll be happier when it’s different”. The phrase that springs to mind here is – It doesn’t matter where you go, there you’ll be.

Whenever we think these kinds of thoughts we feel stress. But the only stressful element to it is the thought itself. If nothing changed in our situation other than we were suddenly unable to think those kinds of thoughts, we would simply be people living the lives we’ve got. No comparison, no judgement, no stress.

What I know won’t work is to ask to you not to think those thoughts. As far as I can tell you don’t control that (at least not without years of meditative training); it’s just what the mind does. The smartest and kindest thing you can do to move towards the life you want, is to start by accepting and valuing your currently reality exactly the way it is. Right here, right now is the only place you’ll ever need to get to.

The starting point for any journey will never not be where you already are. As we travel through life we learn that no matter how far we get, we never leave the present. We never leave and yet we are constantly arriving.

To live with the thought that your life is not supposed to be exactly the way it is right now is to be disconnected from the most integral part of the route map of your journey; the beginning.

How do I know you are exactly where you are supposed to be? Because you’re not anywhere else.

So what is the stress-free formula for turning ‘right here, right now’ into a place you would love to hang out? Let’s take a look as I explain your homework for this session.

HOMEWORK

There is a big difference between how you show up in the world when you are trying to prove the circumstances of your life are holding you back and how you show up when you are coming from a place of inspired service. Service in this context simply means giving your best self to the world in this very moment.

There are three ingredients that help things along nicely:

1- Knowledge of how you would like to feel if ‘right here, right now’ were already the happy place you want it to be.

2- An understanding of how you would think and behave differently with that feeling as your guide. How would you treat yourself and how would you interact with others.

3- Patience.

I invite you to take each of these ingredients and add them into the mix of your life straight away.

The instant you “assume the feeling of the wish fulfilled” and operate from that space, the present moment has a habit of transforming in the most wonderful ways.

Initially you’ll notice that nothing has changed and yet everything is different. Over time, with patience, you’ll realise that not only can you peacefully go after whatever it is you want to create in your life, but you can also stay happy, regardless of how the scenery changes along the way.

Take great care. Namaste.