5 Pillars In Order To Create Abundance
Feeling a sense of enough is something so many struggle with and strive for. It is often a topic during our sessions with clients. I think of my grandparents living through the Depression and how thoughtful they were about spending and investing money. When we fast forward almost 100 years to today, it seems (and rightfully so) that being worried about money just comes with the territory of being a member of our western society. As I grow older and have the luxury of coaching so many people - I realize that abundance and having enough money is actually a state of mind rather than just a strategy.
PILLAR 1: Live within our means. Of course, there is the basic concept of living within our means, spending less than we make, and consistently saving for a rainy day. Over the years, I have become more and more clear that simplicity is so much easier, both on the bank account and my mental and emotional health. There is a lot to be said for keeping life simple. The simple life has become so attractive to me (and many others) not because we have to, but because we want to, and it leaves more money, more time, and more space for other things, like taking care of ourselves, traveling, reading and spending time with family and friends.
Living within our means (both time and money-wise) leaves space for what is most important in life. When it all comes down to it, I’ve learned that it’s all about our relationships. When asked at the end of their life what mattered most, most will say their relationship with their partner, their kids, their friends, and their family. Everything else seems to pale in comparison in the end. But when we are in the thick of life (and work), we tend to make choices based on money and material things. Don’t get me wrong; I believe that having enough does matter; it creates less stress and a more peaceful existence. So after the basics of living within our means are covered, what else can we do to create a more abundant life?
PILLAR 2: Be responsible for contributing to the world. Finding your passion is an interesting task. It often brings people to coaching. They feel flat, uninspired, and bored with life… they are looking for that ‘thing’ that they can be passionate about. What I know after 20+ years of doing this work is that most people really are passionate about making a difference with their life. I am reminded of the place that I find myself at least once a month, our local community resource center. Its mission: to serve more than 6,400 people each year with emergency assistance, domestic violence emergency shelter, counseling, housing stability, and access to food. I drop off items that I want to donate because I love clearing clutter…and it feels good to know I am passing it on to others that are in need. There's a man that helps out there; I don't know his name. He comes to my car to help me unload, and every time, he says: “Thank you for your donation. You are making a difference. Do you understand what we do here? I say yes and, again, he thanks me. His mission is to be sure that every person dropping off understands the mission. He started out volunteering years ago and now works there, and he is so passionate about it. When we are passionate about the impact we have, we feel like our cup is full. Abundance happens without much effort when our actions are aligned with our passions. What would happen if everyone was feeling passionate about the way they were contributing to the world? Ask yourself these important questions: How do you want to contribute to this world we live in? What part do you want to have in making it better than how you found it? Then, step into action… find a way to contribute, and miraculous things happen.
PILLAR 3: Worry less and trust more. I am finding myself working with young people just graduating from college and those who are stepping into retirement. Both find themselves in a new and scary place, asking themselves, ‘Will I have enough?’ I know so many people that worry their way through life, and I ask them, when did you not have enough? And most of the time, the answer is: Never. Somehow, some way, we figure it out. We find a way to make enough… It’s amazing how life has a way of working for us so often. I love looking back on life with the lens of ‘how things worked out.’ The beauty of life and how we go about it. It’s not perfect, but you can trust yourself. You’ve got this!
PILLAR 4: Be grateful for what was and what is. When we are able to be grateful for what was in our life and what is today, we’ve found abundance. So many of us are constantly striving… it’s exhausting! More. More. More. The secret is to stop. JUST STOP. Smell the roses in front of you. Talk to your kids standing in front of you. Hug your partner in front of you. Thank the cashier where you buy food for dinner this evening. Be grateful for the bed you’ll sleep in tonight. Be grateful to yourself for what you have done to have enough. When we start with gratitude, a good and full life follows.
PILLAR 5: Action Jackson! If you want life to be different, start with gratitude and design from there. Life is so much about how we design it. And we forget that we are the architects of our lives. So it’s up to us to take action consistently to create the life of abundance we wish to have. I love the old African Proverb, “When we pray, move our feet.” How I interpret that is we cannot just pray, meditate, chant, and be positive. That is important, but we must also take action, be responsible for our part, and oftentimes that means getting out of our comfort zone and doing things differently and consistently. It also means being aware of the fact that we have choices in how we respond to everything and everyone in life. Design wisely; it matters!
So creating an abundant life is not just about money. I know people with lots of money that don't feel they have a lot of it. It’s all about our relationship with money, with time, with ourselves, and with each other. Abundance is elusive. It’s a mindset. It’s math, too, sometimes. Other times, it’s simplicity. What if we believed that there is enough for all of us? Enough money. Enough food. Enough love. Enough. What if we also believe that we are enough - abundance starts with that seedling. You are enough. We are enough. Abundance is a many-pronged approach to life… our actions, our mindset, our ability to trust ourselves and the universe, contributing to the world, and being grateful for all that is… is a simple formula but not easy. Once shifted, we realize the ease that is possible. Sink into abundance - it's a beautiful place to live.