I have spent the last twelve years studying life, achievement and success. Tony Robbins has said that he began his journey by reading hundreds of “self-help” books and I guess I began in this way also, but I would also add that mine has been a journey of the heart. It has been as much a time of self-discovery as it has been learning better ways to think. Along the way I have read and studied multiple religious paths, attended many churches, seminars, conferences, rituals and gatherings. I have spent countless hours reading and have filled dozens of notebooks with notes.
I have been on top of the mountain and I have hit rock bottom more times than I can count. There have been times I have had plenty of money and times when my only food was peanut butter and cheezits- every meal of the day, every day of the week. My mindset for the first few years on this path was that only extreme hard work, discipline and perseverance would bring success. I pushed myself very hard and I experienced a roller-coaster of ups and downs for several years as I chased “success’. Of course, at that time my definition of success was making a whole lot of money. These days my definition is quite different and so is my mindset.
I am still learning and I often feel as though I am but an infant when it comes to my understanding of life and this universe. However, my understanding is far greater than it was twelve years ago. I used to think that in order to be successful in life I had to get and maintain control of everything in my life. I don’t have to tell you the pain and frustration that brought into my life! In reality, we do not, have never and will never be in control of everything. In fact the entire universe is beautifully “out of control”! That being said, please understand this: Your life is yours to create, and create it you have. Some will argue that this is a load of crap, and that’s okay, but this is what I have learned is true for me. I won’t try to convince you otherwise, nor tell you what to think. I only point you in a certain direction and allow you to see what you will.
Anything and everything you want your life to be can become your reality, but please hear this one very important fact: Every external change will, and must always be, preceded by an internal change. The hard work and discipline I mentioned earlier? Well, those things still apply, but direct them inward and apply your focus there, for that is where it all begins. Look intently into your heart. Find out what it yearns for; what it really wants.
What you want matters. I am not speaking of only material things you wish to own, a different job, relationship and certainly not money. All of these things are superficial and are only clues to the real truth of what lies deeper within you. What I am talking about is what you want from your life. What do you want it to mean and why do you want to live? You have to put in the work and dig down to what drives you. Why do you do what you do each day? How do you want your life to be? This is hard work, I know because I am doing it too, but it is this work that will peel away the façade and expose the truth beneath; the truth of who and what you are; the truth of what your heart and spirit long for.
What you want matters:
..because a want is a desire. Desire is a deep longing born of what sets your heart ablaze with passion. The desires of your heart lead to thoughts and the thoughts you continually keep in your mind are what shape and create your world.
..because to want something, to yearn for something so deeply, is a heart thing. It is the voice of your spirit as opposed to just your intellect. This voice is who you really are and not the picture of yourself which you’ve constructed.
..because the desires of your heart, though often ignored or overshadowed by “rational thought”, are what solve the “mystery” of your life’s purpose.
..because it is the passion for the wants of your heart that will sustain you through the dark valleys. Mere logical thought will abandon you in the dark times, and there will be dark times. Achieving anything worthwhile takes effort, discipline and persistence. If you set out to attain a goal that isn’t a true desire of your heart, a passion that drives you no matter what, then you won’t stick to it.
..because true joy and happiness are the result of listening to, and acting on, your heart’s desires.
..because to actually experience living each moment of your life, and not just in anticipation of what you hope will come in the future, you must experience the fulfilling of what your heart really yearns for.
..because your wants will not only impact your life, but the lives of others also.
..because your wants will empower you to push past fear. You will be empowered to happily leave your comfort zone, and all advancements will always take place outside of the familiar.
Please never underestimate the desires of your heart and what your contribution can mean to the world. Maybe what you set out to do influences only one hundred people. Is that a bad thing? Absolutely not! Think what happens if each of those one hundred people influences another one hundred. Do you see how far and wide your influence is multiplied? Indeed, this is how the world can be changed. In fact, it has been changed many, many times in just this way!
Like you, I am still on my journey, and that’s good because in the end you’ll see that the journey was your life.