(continued from last month – The Ten Practices of a Happy and Successful Life – Part I)
Practice #3 – Do what you love:
This might sound somewhat metaphysical, but I believe with all my heart and soul that each of us is born with a talent, and a destiny that will unfold in the most miraculous way when we honour and use that talent. Some might call it “finding their calling” or “discovering their purpose in life.” I call it, “doing what you love to do.” Actually they are all the same thing. Your calling and destiny are hidden within the precious desires of your heart. What an ingenious place to put it. All that is required is for you to look within and discover what gives you the greatest joy.
A valuable question to assist you in this process is, “What would I do with my life if money were not an issue?” I’m not asking what would you buy for yourself, or what luxury trips you would take, but rather what would you “do” with your life. The key word is “do.” What practices or activities bring you the most pleasure? Do you know why they bring you such pleasure? This might surprise you, but they bring you pleasure because God/the Universe/the Great Mystery wants you to do them. Just as the act of procreation is made pleasurable so humans will reproduce themselves, so too with our own unique talents. They bring us pleasure because nature wants us to use them. When we use them we gift many. How simple and yet revolutionary: your purpose in life, your destiny, your reason for living, your ultimate happiness, all come from following and trusting what you love to do. Quite ingenious.
When I was in my mid-twenties I began to study and read everything I could on Mind Powers. I was totally fascinated with the subject. Eventually I left a very successful career in Toronto, sold my possessions, drove out west and ended up on Vancouver Island. There I built myself a cabin and spent three years perfecting a Mind Power system for the sheer love of doing it. I had no other motive than simply indulging myself in what had become my passion. There certainly was going to be no financial benefit in it, or so I thought. Little did I realize at the time that by following this path I would become a very successful writer of a number of best-selling books and travel the world teaching this system to millions. It was my destiny to do this, and I only discovered it by chance because I followed and trusted what gave me the greatest pleasure.
Not only is “Doing What You Love” a key to personal fulfilment, it is more often than not the key to financial success as well. I discovered this while writing my second book, Money Success & You. When I was on my final draft I decided to send each of my financially successful friends (those with assets over $1 million) a copy of the manuscript so I could get their feedback. As I finished my list and was reading over the names, I suddenly realized that every single one of them had achieved their success in areas they enjoyed working in – one was in publishing, another was a jewelry wholesaler, one in law, still another in home renovating – and so it went. They had found their passion, devoted themselves to it, and had prospered. Every single one of them was doing what they loved doing. It got me thinking. Has anybody ever been tremendously successful doing what he or she dislikes. Sure you can make a living doing what you don’t enjoy, and many people do, but can you be tremendously successful? I thought about it for a while and you know what? I couldn’t think of anyone that I either knew or had read about in newspapers who was tremendously successful at doing something they did not enjoy doing. Not one. Something to ponder as we make our life choices.
Practice #4 – Be thankful each day for something:
Gratitude is one of the most powerful forces in the universe. I wish more people understood this. Not only would they be happier, but they would possess the key to so many riches, both internal and external. Gratitude is truly one of the most misunderstood and underestimated practices. In the hierarchy of vibrations, gratitude vibrates at a higher frequency than desire, so when you work with gratitude, it paradoxically acts as a catalyst to help you fulfill your desires. Conversely, if you just desire things without having gratitude, you are fighting an uphill battle. So gratitude works powerfully for us on all levels.
I want to quote from my book The Practice of Happiness (Notice the word “Practice” in the title. It is there for a reason.): “Every life has something to be grateful for. If we cannot find things to be thankful for, then the reason lies within us. How have we allowed ourselves to become so hardened or desperate? Our inability to find joy or happiness in our life doesn’t suggest in the slightest that joy and happiness are not there. Rather it suggests we are not looking carefully enough. It suggests that we’re not taking the time or that our perspective is too narrow and limited…”
We need to remind ourselves that many pleasurable moments exist each day in our life. Understanding this, we make a decision to start noticing them. We take a few seconds here, a moment there, to stop and appreciate the small joys and beauty in our lives. And far from this being a chore, we find ourselves refreshed and nourished by this simple practice.” The power of gratitude cannot be truly appreciated until you have practiced it regularly. The vibration of gratitude transforms lives. All change in our life begins from within, and when we make a conscious decision to be grateful for what we already have, even if what we have is very little, we set in motion vibrations that attract more to us.
I began practicing gratitude over thirty years ago, (sometimes it takes as little as a few seconds, other times a minute or two.) and I can say with complete honesty that I have never had a day where I wasn’t thankful for at least one thing at some point during the day. It has become a habit and practice and it nourishes me deeply. I can’t imagine a life without it.