If we are living, it means we are interacting with the world and it is the way we are interacting that creates the quality of our experience. Therefore, if we want a better experience, we can make changes to the way we are interacting (thoughts, feelings, and actions) to bring about desired changes to our circumstances, to move us closer to how we want our experience to be.
So, are you currently living the awesome lives that you previously dreamed of, or would you like to make your lives better?
Unfortunately, the current reality many people are living is one they have been taught is ‘normal,’ and this is often a life of mediocrity and struggle just to get by. The majority of our time is taken up working for money so we can afford ‘to pay for the right to live!’ (Life was not meant to be this way.)
However, some people are living fulfilling lives with abundance, success, and joy…… and the truth is, the potential is there FOR ALL OF US to do the same.
And before you say that there is not enough money for everyone to be wealthy, just consider this: According to Visual Capitalist, in 2019, the total world wealth grew by $9.1 trillion to reach $360.6 trillion, which amounts to a 2.6% increase over the previous year.
The wealth of the world continues to grow year-on-year as our abilities to engage in commerce continue to expand. (It seems that the central banks are just able to print more money at will, or just add more zeros to online accounts as required.) So, do not ever think there is not enough to go around, or that by you having everything you want, someone else will be missing out. Because this is simply not true!
Another example of abundance is this; In America alone, it is estimated the 40% of the total food produced each year is thrown out in the trash…… which is more than enough to feed all the starving people in America as well as quite a few other countries!
If there is enough for everyone, why are so many people struggling and not enjoying great lives?
To understand this, we first need to define what ‘a better life’ is, because, contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t just come down to the size of your bank account, or how many luxury cars you have parked in your drive.
The difference between a great life and an unsatisfying life can be measured by the size of the gap between what we want and what we currently have as our experience. For example: If we want a lover to share our journey with, and we don’t have one, then we are not happy. If we want a promotion at work, but a rival got it, then we are unhappy. If we want to be healthy but are diagnosed with a disease, then we are unhappy. If we overcome the disease, then we are happy.
If there is a huge gap between what we are now experiencing as ‘OUR LIFE’ and how we would like our experience to be, we would definitely say that our life is not so good. And this feeling of lacking leads to suffering in the form of stress, depression, anxiety, dis-ease, etc.
If there is no gap or only a small difference in what we want and what we have, then our lives can be considered good, or even fantastic. Maybe we wanted the latest Porsche but had to settle for last year’s model instead. OK, so we didn’t get what we wanted, but relatively speaking, life is not so bad, yeah?
What influences my ‘wants and desires?’
Our wants and desires are varied and personal and are determined by our expectations. And our expectations are, for the large part, determined by our early life programming, and then also by our subsequent life experiences.
What I mean by this is that if we were born poor, in a country in wartime conditions, success for us may be to raise a family and live modestly in peace. However, if we were born into a powerful political family, we may never be happy until we become the president.
Our expectations are influenced by many, many, factors, including our culture, religion, education, location, family status, etc. and it is our unique set of influences that makes our expectations unique to us.
So, although we all have our own unique set of wants and expectations, it is still ‘the closing of the gap’ between what we want and what we have, (specifically for us) that makes us feel happy and satisfied, or not. Because of this, HAPPINESS AND SUCCESS ARE A VERY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE.
Having said this, it becomes apparent that there is a common recipe among all people that is necessary to make lives better. This recipe includes a varying mixture of material things, EXPERIENCES, and most importantly, A DESIRE TO FEEL HAPPY AND BE HEALTHY.
In this mix, it is the material possessions that are the least likely component to significantly add any real and lasting value to the long term quality of our lives. Why? Because they only bring short-term satisfaction, go out of fashion, wear out, and breakdown.
There is always a bigger, brighter, shinier, and better item marketed to us to draw our attention away from the copious amounts of stuff we already have, (the previous items that we thought would make us happy have lost their desired effect, so why would we consider that buying the next, and the next, and the next, will satisfy us?)
Material stuff is part of our ‘outer world’ and as it is outside of ‘our-self,’ it can only make us feel good for a short time (when driving the new car, using the new phone, etc.) And then when we are not engaging with our stuff, we are back to our normal self, the inner world of our repetitive thoughts and feelings (what did they mean when they said…? did I do a good job at work today…? what if they don’t like me?)
It is our thoughts and feeling that are our constant companions and are therefore the best measures of the quality of our lives.
We know that we will FEEL BETTER when we lessen the gap between what we want and what we currently have. So, how do we do this?
Basically, we have two options available to us.
1) We can ‘DO’ whatever it takes (TAKE ACTION in the outer world) to achieve our goals (reduce the gap.) This may mean working a second job, longer hours, not going out spending money, exercising more to lose weight, taking a public speaking class….. or whatever is required to meet our goals.
However, not all people who are regularly achieving their goals are happy, healthy, or content with their lives. This is because ‘doing action’ is energy expensive, and therefore we are constantly depleting ourselves and become tired, grumpy, bored, frustrated, run-down, etc. We take action in the hopes of making our future better than our current life is.
However, often, we are sacrificing our current happiness and wellbeing for a perceived future benefit (that may or may not materialize). We lose precious time with the kids as they are growing up, have no time for our aging parents, and neglect our physical, mental, and emotional health in the process.
We have been taught that this is the way to have a great life…… work hard now, so that when we retire we can be happy.
How many happy and satisfied retired people do you know? Yes, there are many, but there are also many retired people who have worked hard for the majority of their lives and are not ‘living the dream’ they were promised.
2) It is the way that we are thinking that is the most important ingredient to LIVING A BETTER LIFE!
There is no secret or magic formula…. it’s all about the way we are feeling for the majority of the time. And our feelings are a direct result of the way we are thinking. That’s all! So, changing our thoughts to make us feel better at this moment IS CREATING A BETTER LIFE FOR US NOW—- AND FOR EVERY OTHER MOMENT WE CAN DO THE SAME!
If we can ‘feel better’ at this moment, and the next moment….. and so on, then WE ARE HAVING (CURRENT TENSE) a better life.
“Make the best of it. When you make the best of whatever you’re focused upon, your future will be better than your now. If each moment you’re making the best of what-is, no matter what it is, you make the best of it; make the best of it; make the best of it—your future just gets better and better and better, and better.” Abraham Hicks
Yeah, but how can I be happy if I am not achieving my goals?
Simple….. YOU CHOOSE IT……… Happiness is a choice, it is an internal ‘state of being’ that we can achieve whenever we want, simply because our feelings are totally dependent on our thoughts, and OUR THOUGHTS ARE OUR CHOICE!
We can choose to think whatever we want, INDEPENDENT OF CIRCUMSTANCES AND EVENTS HAPPENING IN OUR OUTER WORLD!
However, the majority of us spend most of our time NOT CONSCIOUSLY AWARE OF OUR THOUGHTS, and this means that our current feelings are dependent on thoughts, ideas, and beliefs, that are coming from our subconscious minds…….. WE ARE NOT IN CONTROL OF THESE THOUGHTS…… but we are thinking them!
AND THEY ARE DETERMINING THE QUALITY OF OUR LIVES IN THIS MOMENT…… and for up to ninety-five percent of our waking hours!
This is not a good situation considering that psychologists say that more than sixty percent of the thoughts that originate from our subconscious minds are NEGATIVE! We have been programmed, in our early years, with a negative bias…… So, how can we live better lives if we are living life unconsciously (in autopilot mode) most of the time…… we are just going to attract more of the same stuff into our lives that got us to where we are now!
Are you living a great life now?……. Could it be better?……. Yes? Then become more conscious of what you are thinking and make it positive!
I’m sure there are at least some small ways in which we could all improve the quality of our lives.
Happiness is not so much about achieving goals or not achieving goals. Sure, the satisfaction of achievement can be great, but it doesn’t last. If we set a goal when we are twenty and achieve it at twenty-five, is our life then complete? No, it’s not.
Goals come and go. We achieve one and then we move onto the next, and the next. And this is an important and necessary aspect of life!
It never ends with the accomplishment of one or more goals, because we have an inbuilt drive to grow and develop ourselves beyond what we currently are (no matter who we are or where we are)…… Life is either about growing and expanding, or dying…..
So while alive, it’s a great idea to keep having goals, plans, dreams, and to keep reaching for the stars…….. Growth and achievement are stimulating, exciting, and fun…. and a great way to live!
Living a better life is about how we are feeling every step of our journey.
So, instead of waiting until we can ‘lessen the gap’ to feel better, why not just choose to feel better now?
In fact, right now at this moment, choose a thought that will make you feel better than you were feeling before you began reading this article. Nurture this thought, and then add more good feeling thoughts to it.
What reactions does this conjure in you? How does it affect your feelings now?
Did you manage to feel better? Do you understand the simplicity of how easy it is to choose thoughts that will make you feel better?
Do you know you can repeat this constantly throughout every day?
I hope the message of this article is clear: Material stuff can, and does, make us feel better and adds to the quality of our lives, but not always, and it is never lasting.
Living life consciously, by being aware of our thoughts, is the key that gives us the greatest power to live a better life…… because when we change our thoughts to become more positive, we are changing ourselves (raising our vibration) and the way we are interacting with our world!
So, be happy now, even if you think you have no reason to. Because the truth is that by choosing to be happy now, your life is better than it was when you were stuck in your repetitive negative unconscious thought patterns.
Shared with love and respect, knowing that the world is a better place because of all the happy people in it 🙂