I heard a fable recently. A businessman is on vacation. He notices a fisherman coming into the marina with his catch. “How long did it take you to catch those fish?” asks the businessman. The fisherman responds, “Not long.” “What are you going to do now?” inquires the businessman. “I am going home to have lunch with my family then play on the beach with my children.” “You know,” the businessman excitedly blurts, “if you stayed out longer then you could catch more fish. You could sell the extra fish in the market and eventually make enough money to buy another boat. Then you could hire someone to fish on the other boat and you could bring in even more fish. Eventually you could have a fleet of boats to manage.” “Then what?” asks the fisherman. “Well,” replies the businessman, “once you created a large enough business you could sell it for a lot of money and then retire on the beach with your family.”
Having drive and determination to pay your bills ensuring you and your family are taken care of is admirable. But how much is enough and what are you trading off in your desire for more money? Are you experiencing joy or are you consumed with working thinking it will give you a sense of safety? Are you focused on what you truly need to enjoy life or are you killing yourself to acquire things? Are you trying to provide for your loved ones but missing actually being with them? Is it time to re-evaluate your priorities in life?
Like many of us, I dream of having so much money I would be free to spend my days as I wish. What I am learning is how close I can get without having the dollars. My new mantra is to focus on my experience. In every moment am I experiencing what I desire? If I am focused on a specific outcome or item to acquire, I ask myself what I hope to experience from it. Then I see how I can experience that feeling without the thing or the outcome. The question is what do you want to feel? Choose your feeling: happy, exhilarated, joyous, adventurous, loving, peaceful, or relaxed. Then watch yourself every moment. Are you feeling that way right now? If not, what can you do to change it? How close to that feeling can you get right now? Eventually you will learn it is not any amount of money in the bank, things, situations, or outcomes which provide your desired feeling it is you. You are in control over the way you live and experience your life by the choices you make about how you are thinking, perceiving, acting, and reacting.
Take a moment to write down what you want to experience in your life. How do you want to feel throughout the day? Now use what you wrote as guideposts throughout your day. If you do not feel that way, identify the thought that is taking you away from that feeling. Change your thought or belief. Share with us the results of your experiment and how it changed what you experience.