Throughout the many years that I have traveled and shared with people of all walks of life, at all socioeconomic levels, and in many different cultures and countries, there are three questions that are always asked. They essentially go like this:
What can I do to improve my life?
How can I discover my purpose?
How can we make a peaceful, better world?
Interestingly, we improve our quality of life by becoming a better person — a person who we recognize as worthy — a good human being. We do that by taking some intentional steps designed to acknowledge ourselves. We begin by forgiving ourselves for anything and everything we might feel has in some way dishonored us. We deserve forgiveness because we forgive everyone of anything and everything that might have been done in some way that we perceive injured us. In other words, so long as we blame someone, anyone, for something in our life, we invalidate our own forgiveness. Many people miss this important point. It’s basically said this way, “What we sow is what we reap.” When we refuse to find forgiveness in our heart for acts against us, we create a sort of calculus. Using our calculus we decide: This act is forgivable but this one isn’t. That translates to a sliding scale of forgiveness and thereby becomes as applicable to our selves as it is to others. Another way to think of this is: “Judge not lest ye be judged.”
Further, without forgiveness, we disable our ability to do anything about an issue or event. What is there to do if someone else is to blame — it’s their fault, after all. In this victim role we are disempowered from acting in some proactive manner, and thereby healing and accepting ourselves. It’s not that we necessarily deserve everything that comes to us, it’s more a case of what we do with the stimuli that matters. We may not be in charge of everything we will encounter in life but we are absolutely in charge of how we will respond and integrate these events.
So the first step to improving your life is forgiveness. Now there are two very practical matters that I suggest as well. Set aside 20 minutes four or five days a week to meditate. Research shows us that regular meditation can enhance cognitive abilities, reduce stress and anxiety, strengthen the immune system and even increase the amount of gray matter in your brain. When you meditate you slow brainwave activity and enter conscious states akin to dream sleep that you can guide, and thereby obtain answers as well as stillness. This regular practice will assist you in becoming mindful. If you would prefer, use self-hypnosis and actively train your mind while conditioning deeper and deeper levels of inner awareness.
The third direction I would suggest is that you actively seek to be mindful of everything in your life. You can do this while you go about your daily life, just pay attention to your thoughts. When you have an aberrant thought, cancel it, but also make a note to yourself to later explore where it may have originated. As you become more and more aware of your stream of consciousness, your inner talk, you can actively become involved in consciously engineering the kind of thoughts you would like to have. Indeed, I developed the patented technology known as InnerTalk to prime self-talk, introducing a positive stream of reinforcing thoughts directly into the subconscious as a means to empower this technique. By attending to your thoughts, little by little you replace those ants (automatic negative thoughts) with positive self-supporting beliefs and the GIGO (garbage in-garbage out) scenario becomes AIAO (awesome in-awesome out).
Now, interestingly, as we answer question one we actually begin to answer questions two and three. I am absolutely convinced that the way you find your purpose is through service. You may be a plumber, a nurse, a truck driver, an attorney, a doctor or whatever — but when you recognize that what you do is not about you but rather about what you are doing for others, everything changes! In the instant that you think of your work as providing a genuine service to others, rather than being about money, etc., not only will you find your services being sought after, but many other opportunities will open up. In fact, experience shows that when you change your attitude, and dedicate your life to service, then that big shoehorn in the sky will help you right into where you’re suppose to be. And you’ll know it because you’ll love it!
Be the Change You Are Seeking
As for question three, the world changes one person at a time. It may have become somewhat trite but it is still nevertheless profoundly true, “Be the change you are seeking.” By practicing the steps offered above for the first two questions, you are doing just that — making the world a better place one person at a time! In the words often attributed to
Mother Teresa, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”
Be at peace and thanks for the read,