The following article was first published on the helium.com writers website.
You can view some of my other articles here.
Making the Most of Life
The way we respond to any situation we are faced with is very important. We should focus on the questions we ask ourselves and not with statements which we believe to be fact.
To give you an idea what I mean I will use an example from ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’ by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter.
In the book, they use the phrase: “I can’t afford it” which, when used in this way, is a pure statement believed to be fact whether it be true or not. A better approach would be to say: “How can I afford it?” which is a question that encourages action.
The first phrase tells the brain to switch off and give up while the latter gets the mind working to find a solution. You can use that principle in virtually everything you do.
Listen to yourself speak. Feel your physiology as you think about your dream purchase and then say: “I can’t afford it.” I can feel my shoulders drop just typing it.
Saying: “How can I afford it?” has the opposite effect and gets the brain to look at the possibilities of achieving the goal. While this doesn’t guarantee immediate success it does have an effect on your outlook. Life becomes a challenge and not a foregone failure.
Have you ever wanted something so much that you ached for it? Can you recall occasions such as Christmas where you wanted a particular toy or how you felt when falling in love for the first time?
These are very powerful emotions. See if you can relive them now – close your eyes and remember the feelings you had at the time. Let them gain strength within you and then bring in a particular goal you have and see how you feel then.
It’s all about the ache, that want, that need – it’s not passive and empty promises but real: “I must have it!”
‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’ is a fascinating read. The first lesson basically says: “The poor and middle class work for money. The rich have money work for them”. The here message being that if we want to be wealthy we need to look at creating an income which doesn’t require us to do something as a job.
An example particularly relevant to aspiring writers would be to write an e-book whereby the task is undertaken only once but can go on earning indefinitely through repeat sales. Another alternative could be to create a website where users have to subscribe to access quality content.
For techno-phobes the two options above may appear daunting because they do not feel they have the knowledge to create them. I would ask them to imagine the feeling of having achieved the goal by learning the skill to make those opportunities real.
There is a proverb that goes: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
Variations include: “To learn a lesson is a far better reward than to win a prize early in the game” and “It is better to know how to help yourself than to beg from others”.
While these all say essentially the same thing, they all do have the same important message: Once you have learned how do something, it is with you for life. You are then even in the position to teach the skill to others.
So where do you start?
Many people will argue that they do not have the time to study but that’s nonsense, there is always time. You do not work flat-out 24 hours a day do you? Quit putting obstacles in your way and look for ways of making something happen rather than reasons not to.
By being more keenly aware of what we are doing day-today, we can make decisions to improve ourselves in a multitude of different ways. Mentally and physically, with relationships and our environment and all with relatively little effort.
You can pick up that book and read a chapter and learn about building a website or watch a repeat of a TV program you’ve already seen before. You could slump in a chair during the ad breaks or do 20 push ups. Which of the options is going to have more long-term benefits to you as a person?
The key is: “What is the best use of my time, right now?”
If you make the choice to do something to improve your situation, in even the most minuscule of ways, you have already made progress. That has to be celebrated. Don’t waste a moment.