2009 - A Different Year?
Adapted from a previous newsletter
Let me start by wishing you a very happy and prosperous 2009 - one that is just full of wonderful new Insights and exciting happenings!
January is always the time of the year when people start to reflect on their Summer holidays and start to look ahead to the New Year, often in the hope that it will bring something different – and something better.
New Year’s resolutions are all about the intention to manifest a positive change, whether that be in the area of one’s health, wealth, career or relationships.
Sadly, as we all know only too well, resolutions may be great fun to make – but they are notoriously difficult to keep.
Why is this?
The answer, I believe, lies in partly in our attitude to change and partly in our attitude to creating our own reality.
Both of these subjects have been covered, separately and in some depth in previous editions of Insights but let’s look at how making a subtle shift in your approach to both these subjects, together, can result a dramatic and sustained difference in your fortunes.
Let me start with CHANGE.
Thinking about positive change, such as when we are writing out our New Year’s resolutions, usually brings about a good feeling. It’s a process that can almost be described as ‘romantic’, generating, at least at first, feelings of somewhat ‘heady anticipation’.
The problem comes when we get to the point where we need to take the actions required to bring about the change or changes we desire. That’s normally the point where we fall into the trap of focusing on our ‘worst fears’.
Here’s an example of the kind of thinking that I’m talking about:
“I’d just love to resign my job and set myself up in my own business, but what if it’s a flop and I squander my life’s savings? Then my company probably wouldn’t take me back and I’d be stuck for months with no income. And I won’t have access to Medical Aid anymore, so if I come down with some terrible illness, I’ll be destitute and my family would never forgive me for my failure. That would be a massive dent to my pride.”
Thinking about one's worst fears is a programmed response to the prospect of a major change. You could look at it as a form of protection mechanism – a way in which the ego tries to prevent us from doing anything that could result in ‘loss of face’, embarrassment, emotional pain or material loss.
Unfortunately, it also acts as a ‘ball and chain’ that prevents our forward motion and strips us of the wonderful experiences that can come from pursuing the kaleidoscope of opportunities that life presents us with.
Now, let’s look at CREATING OUR OWN REALITY.
Most of us find it difficult to reconcile ourselves with the idea that we are, solely, the creators of our own reality.
Life, on the whole, seems to just happen around us and it’s easy to feel powerless to control it. As a consequence, we either end up feeling helpless, angry and frustrated or we learn to ‘go with the flow’, opting to ‘roll with the punches’ and accept whatever life throws at us.
But imagine for a moment that we have been given the power to create our own reality by the way we direct our thoughts and respond to our emotions. Wouldn’t that be amazing?
Well, there is growing evidence that this truly is the case – that each one of is, if you like, a ‘mini-creator’; a ‘chip off the old block’ as it were!
The publishing of The Secret in 2006, was to herald an explosion in self-development books and websites that focused on the Law of Attraction and the manifestation of desires. But the truth is that the 'revelations' contained within The Secret were never really a secret at all. What the little book did do so very successfully, however, was to package and market the information in a way that had huge general appeal – thus breaking through the clutter in self-development writings and offerings.
So, post The Secret, it is no longer ‘de rigueur’ to brand people as ‘out of touch with reality’ or ‘whacky new-agers’ when they talk about the ability to create reality through thought.
In my opinion there is great truth in the saying: “You are what you think about”.
OK, so let me now combine the two subjects and demonstrate how, with a different approach to change and attitude to creating one's own reality, I believe it is possible to bring about a step change for the better in one's life.
To help illustrate what I am getting at, I’ll present you with fictional accounts of two people’s experiences as they confront the onset of a new year.
I’ve named these people Bob, the more traditional one, and Jane, the more enlightened one.
Bob went back to work in January with a heavy heart.
True, he had enjoyed a relaxing and restful break with his family but, as usual, it was all too short and now the dreaded post-holiday grindstone was looming.
Bob hated his job. He had been doing the same thing for as long as he could remember and was feeling stuck in a rut. His boss – a real taskmaster - didn’t make life any easier for him. All that ever seemed to count was how much Bob sold; never how he was feeling, what made him ‘tick’ or what he felt about his family.
Bob knew, in his heart, that he was a very capable person. He had been thinking about breaking out and starting his own business for the past five years but, somehow, just couldn’t bring himself to make the leap. There was just too much at stake. He earned a pretty good income from employment and he and his family had become dependent on the benefits his company offered. How would they ever make do without the pension fund, medical aid and company car?
No, the risks were simply too high for him to jump into something just because his instinct told him that was the right thing to do. Now was not the time. He would just have to just grin and bear it until retirement - in fifteen years time.
Hopefully, he thought, “The time will pass quickly and then, at last, I will be a happy man.”
Jane went back to work in January refreshed and with a feeling of excitement and anticipation.
She had enjoyed a lovely holiday and the best part of it was that she had had time to herself to think about what she really wanted to do with her life next. Though she was appreciative of her job and doing well for her company, she felt strongly that the time was now right to embark on a new life experience. She knew, instinctively that she was a capable person and felt this would ensure that she would do well at whatever she turned her hand to.
Right now, her head was full of ideas and her vivid imagination was running wild as she pictured herself as a highly successful and happy entrepreneur. There was a lot to be done but she already had a good plan of action. She knew she would need some capital, that she didn’t have right now, to start her new venture - and she visualized receiving a big cheque in the post.
She knew with confidence, from past experience, that if she thought hard enough about what she wanted, it would eventually manifest. Her job was to be clear on what she wanted to create and the tools and means would magically appear.
As she drove into the company parking bay she felt a sense of wonder, inner peace and joy as she contemplated the big change she had committed to embark upon: “I feel so grateful for the opportunities that this fascinating and varied life presents to me."
The big difference in the two stories is the attitude towards change and the belief in one’s ability to create one’s own reality.
Bob, like so many of us, approaches change from a purely rational, logical point of view, contemplating the worst that could happen and weighing up the perceived costs and benefits of that scenario.
Bob doesn’t believe that he can control his own destiny. To him, life is uncertain and fickle and he doesn’t want to be an unfortunate victim, so he chooses what he perceives to be the ‘safe route’ by maintaining the status quo.
Jane, on the other hand, understands that life presents a constant stream of opportunities that she can follow or not as she chooses. She relishes the freedom to make her own decisions and follow her preferences.
Jane appreciates that she is the creator of her own reality and she takes the actions necessary to follow her dreams, safe in the knowledge that this is an abundant universe that is responsive to her thoughts.
I hope this message may have struck a chord with you; particularly if the story of Bob is something you currently relate to. If so, my wish is that it will assist you to break the mould of traditionalist thinking that is based on scarcity and control.
Why not make 2009 a truly different year - the year in which you connect with your inner self; the year in which you finally set yourself on course to live the life you really desire?
Perhaps you have been dreaming of a career in which you experience personal freedom, enjoy amazing self-confidence and know you are on a path of growth; and one in which you caringly impart the secrets of a happy and prosperous life to others?
If this sounds like you, I would invite you to consider training, with New Insights Africa, in your own time and at your own pace, to become a respected Life Coach. If you bring the passion and enthusiasm, we’ll bring the knowledge, skills and insights!
Warm regards, and once again Happy Nerw Year!
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