Category Archives: Food For Thought

Focus On The Available Abundance In Your Life

“When you have too much month for your paycheck, then what you need to do is realize there is abundance all around you, and focus on your abundance not your lack, and as night follows day, abundance will come to you.” ~ Sidney Madwed …

How many of us fall asleep at night with the worries and realizations that our paycheck this month will not be enough to cover our financial obligations? Whenever we do this, we are spending precious time and energy concerned with our perceived lack instead of our available abundance, not realizing that we are paying our debts multitudes of times over–financially, emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. And if time is money, then think of the extra costs we pay in stress, worry, and time–we are effectively robbing ourselves of so much of the abundance available to us in life.

We tend to create our own realities in life by focusing on aspects of our lives that may or may not be healthy. This is the Law of Attraction–if we focus on lack and need, then we will continue to experience lack and need. On the other hand, if we wish to be able to experience abundance and wealth in our lives, we must focus on it as our natural state, believing with all our hearts that we truly do deserve abundance.

Instead of focusing on possibility and potential, most individuals focus on limitations and what they might see as impossibilities. Yet this is what most of us might expect; after all, each one of us has suffered setbacks and defeats in life. And often times, it is because of these past experiences that we get so focused on avoiding future failures that we neglect to create positive future situations. Moreover, when we are focused on avoiding negative things, we are still focused on the negative, which keeps those things strong in our reality. Thus, if we are always focused on avoiding debt, our focus is on debt rather than on abundance no matter how we look at it.

Life was not designed to make us suffer, for there is simply too much opportunity all around us for that to be true. The abundance of life surrounds us–there is enough of everything for everyone. And if we feel as if the distribution of the abundance of the world seems quite flawed, we should accept the fact that the only element of this over which we truly have any control is that which is part of our own lives. Not to mention that life really is too short to spend it focused on what we do not want in our lives. We should instead work to maintain an awareness of the abundance in life and believe that you truly do deserve it.

Focus on the available abundance in your life.

Questions to consider:

In what ways might you limit abundance in your life?

Why is it easy for us to remain so strongly focused on our lack instead of abundance?

How can focusing on your abundance attract more of it into your life?

For further thought:

“Where one sees lack, lack manifests. Where one sees abundance, abundance is supplied.” ~ Darwin Gross

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Seek For The Answers And Solutions Within Yourself

“As long as anyone believes that their ideal and purpose is outside them, that it is above the clouds, in the past or in the future, they will go outside themselves and seek fulfillment where it cannot be found. They will look for solutions and answers at every point except where they can be found–in themselves.” ~ Erich Seligmann Fromm …

When I read about individuals trying to find fulfillment, happiness, or purpose in life outside of themselves, I immediately think of the Holy Grail, and how men spent their whole lives searching for this fabled spiritual cup, yet never found it. And this gets me asking, “Were they simply searching for the wrong thing… or were they searching in the wrong place?”

We cannot find happiness or fulfillment outside of ourselves. Time and time again we are presented with this truism, yet still we look, ignoring the advice of those whose experience has taught them one of the most important lessons available–that our personal fulfillment cannot come from our job performance or a promotion, or from any material possession or even our relationships. Our personal fulfillment can come only through a strong sense of self, a strong respect for who we are, and proper recognition of our amazing personal potential and true efforts to reach that potential.

In the absence of this awareness, we will continue to seek fulfillment–in others and in things that are outside of ourselves–until we truly believe that we possess everything we need within us. And there are many in society that are ok with that, as those individuals or groups generally make lucrative financial gains by keeping us believing that fulfillment is outside of us and can be acquired at a price–the price of purchasing their product or services. And this can be tempting for us to believe, as being able to simply buy our fulfillment, happiness, and purpose is a much easier approach to life.

But this is not the case. Our fulfillment is up to us and us alone. Only we can get ourselves to a level of peace with who we are and what we are doing. Only we can reach a place in life in which the things that happen around us do not bring us down, put us in a bad mood, or frustrate us.

Everything we need to live a fulfilling and beautiful life has already been gifted to us. All we must do is begin opening those gifts within our hearts and spirits.

Seek for the answers and solutions within yourself.

Questions to consider:

Why do many individuals tend to search for fulfillment in things outside of themselves? Is this an effective approach to life? Why?

Why do we often search for the easiest ways of approaching life?

What gifts do you possess within yourself? How often do you use each of them?

For further thought:

“But I am not a beggar,” I can hear you say.

“Those who have not found their true wealth, which is the radiant joy of Being and the deep, unshakable peace that comes with it, are beggars, even if they have great material wealth. They are looking outside for scraps of pleasure or fulfillment, for validation, security, or love, while they have a treasure within that not only includes all those things but is infinitely greater than anything the world can offer.” ~ Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now

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Address Each Problem You Are Faced With In A Way That Respects It Uniqueness

“Approach each new problem not with a view of finding what you hope will be there, but to get the truth, the realities that must be grappled with. You may not like what you find. In that case you are entitled to try to change it. But do not deceive yourself as to what you do find to be the facts of the situation.” ~ Bernard Mannes Baruch …

When looking at our problems, it can be quite easy to focus our minds on how we want things to turn out. Perhaps that is because we often tend to think we know just how each difficulty we are faced with should turn out. A conflict with a spouse or a friend should resolve itself and the relationship should continue. Difficulties at work or at school should be solved so that we can resume our normal routine. Even when we are faced with failure at achieving the goals we set… we tend to feel that we know just how all our problems should be fixed. However, this approach, does not allow for the possibility that the problems we encounter in life have things to offer to us–lessons to teach, virtues to imbue, faith to construct and ignite. If only we were to look at them without preconceived notions of how they should be solved, conflicts with a spouse or a friend might actually deepen the relationship. And the difficulties at work or at school could help us to learn to be more effective on the job or in our studies. And our problems achieving the goals we set could inspire us to become more determined in our endeavors, and might even help us to develop a greater level of patience, humility, and understanding. But we must learn look for the truth in the problem by addressing it honestly and directly.

We usually tend to fall into the same patterns of addressing problems that we have used before–after all, those methods have worked in the past. Unfortunately, this approach does not respect the originality of each problem, nor the fact that we change as people. Each new problem that we face could be addressed in a unique way if we allow the problem itself to determine how we address it.

With every problem, comes its own reality. We may not always like what we find; especially when we discover ourselves to be the root cause of the problem. But that truth should not distract us from dealing with the problem honestly; for only when we learn how we have caused problems, can we change our actions in order to avoid similar ones in the future.

But beware–facts are relative and differ from person to person. I may see someone’s actions as stubbornness, whereas another sees them as fortitude and perseverance. Not to mention that what I perceive as a problem… others may not. Yet if I allow myself to learn through objectivity, as time goes on, my problems will be fewer and much easier to deal with.

Address each problem you are faced with in a way that respects it uniqueness.

Questions to consider:

Do you generally want to find the truth of a problem, or simply solve it as quickly and painlessly as possible?

Why might we start to deal with all problems in similar ways? Is this always an effective approach?

How do you tend to search for the “facts of the situation?”

For further thought:

“There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts.” ~ Richard David Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

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Take Your Wants And Desires Into Serious Consideration

“So what do you want? Do you know? Do you dare to dream? Do you dare to desire? Do you dare to let your imagination (the most divine and mighty gift of the human race) run to the winds of fancy? What do you want? What do you dearly, truly want?” ~ Lynn Grabhorn, Excuse Me, Your Life Is Waiting …

How often do we allow ourselves to become so busy and overwhelmed that we forget to consider seriously our wants? How many times have we personally disallowed ourselves to desire and to dream that our wants can even be fulfilled? Perhaps it was because of past hurts and sorrows; or maybe out of fear of failure or rejection. However, the fact remains that both of these self-destructive tendencies can prevent us from making substantive gains towards our own fulfillment. After all, our desires are legitimate parts of who we are–as long as we take care in not hurting anyone else in trying to fulfill them.

Some individuals put off their wants, suspending them until certain conditions are met. “Perhaps I will visit my homeland in ten years, when I have saved enough money.” Often times though, in ten years they have still not made that trip. With expenses such as doctor bills, mortgage payments, property taxes, education, and loans, and time requirements of work and family, we find that the money, time, availability, or the baby-sitting is just not there.

Of course, we should not put ourselves into debt to fulfill most of our wants. We must exercise good judgment and prudence in the pursuit of our desires. Still, we all could benefit from focusing a little bit more on fulfilling our own wants and desires in life. Yes it is noble to put others needs and wants first, but in the end, we simply cannot grow and develop as a person by neglecting ourselves. In addition, when we fail to develop our ability to turn our wants into reality, we deprive ourselves of a lot of satisfaction–satisfaction that has a direct effect on us and our ability to help others in life.

Whether it is material, emotional, spiritual, or intellectual, we first need to distinguish those things that are our true desires–things that we “dearly, truly want?” Then, after we have recognized those desires, we can commit to pursuing them with the whole of our being. And this is an integral part of our growth, because until we make the effort to fulfill our wants, we hinder ourselves from becoming truly fulfilled human beings.

Take your wants and desires into serious consideration.

Questions to consider:

What was the last want of yours that you worked at to fulfill? How did you do so?

What does Lynn mean when she asks if you “dare to desire?”

Why is desiring a daring act?

For further thought:

“We all spend so much time not saying what we want, because we know we cannot have it. And because it sounds ungracious, or ungrateful, or disloyal, or childish, or banal. Or because we are so desperate to pretend that things are OK, really, that confessing to ourselves they are not looks like a bad move. Go on, say what you want. . . . Whatever it is, say it to yourself. The truth will set you free. Either that or it will get you a punch in the nose. Surviving in whatever life you are living means lying, and lying corrodes the soul, so take a break from the lies for just one minute.” ~ Nick Hornby, A Long Way Down

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Seek For Something You Desire To Find

“If you wish to find, you must search. Rarely does a good idea interrupt you.” ~ Jim Rohn …

Similar to a treasure hunter with a metal detector on a beach, we too must search if we wish to find. And being a seeker applies to every aspect of our lives–seeker of the truth, seeker of God, seeker of wealth, seeker of justice, seeker of fulfillment, and so forth. Most of us hear about others seeking things in life, but how often do we talk about what we seek. Is it fairness… justice… love… integrity? Perhaps it is a better life for ourselves, or happiness and joy for those we care about. Maybe it is for better resources to serve others in our area who are less fortunate and in need, or perhaps it is simply for more purpose and fulfillment in life. And what do we seek in our relationships with others? Is it better communication and a deeper understanding and love with our spouse or a loved one, or for more control over their lives?

Some of us do not seek–perhaps we have instead resigned to wishing that things will somehow happen, or that things will just get better in time. Or maybe we feel that the answer will simply come to us someday, without the need of our time and efforts to seek for it. From experience, however, we all know that the chances of that happening are simply not that good, and that results come more effectively, and efficiently, when we put forth the effort to seek.

Sometimes searching involves a lot of action on our part–finding the right books, meeting the right people, making the right decisions, putting ourselves out there and challenging the status quo, and doing those things that are important and required of us. Other times it involves listening instead of speaking–truly hearing what others have to say rather than being intent on making ourselves heard and sharing our own thoughts. And sometimes, searching is done right there in the silence of our minds and hearts–in sitting quietly and allowing our thoughts to settle, or slowing down and being more aware of our feelings. It is quite comforting to realize that the answers to the questions we seek already reside within us.

Discover your own ways of searching–there is no defined way, no right or wrong and no blueprints to follow; and there are infinite amounts of things for you to seek in life. If you hope to find… just make sure that you search.

Seek for something you desire to find.

Questions to consider:

Why might we fall into complacency and stop searching for more of the important things in life?

What are some of the more important things in your life?

Which has more value in the end–finding an answer, or the search for that answer? Why?

For further thought:

“The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.” ~ Morgan Scott Peck

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Accept The Challenges Of The Day

“Challenge yourself everyday to do better and be better. Remember, growth starts with a decision to move beyond your present circumstances.” ~ Robert Tew …

Some of us often challenge ourselves by our very competitive nature. Others tend to shy away from anything that is not easy or out of the ordinary. For them, it can be daunting even to think of leaving their comfort zones and facing challenges in their lives. Yet we all have a tremendous, and nearly infinite, amount of strength within ourselves if we but look for it. Courage, although sometimes hidden, exists in every one of us. It simply requires adversity to come to the surface and to shine. I have known many people who have faced great challenges through no choice of their own–being laid off, losing their home, or losing their child–yet have discovered a resiliency, courage, and an ability to get by that has simply astonished them and everyone in their life.

The challenges and hardships faced by us can bring us a deeper understanding and love of life if we face them courageously. Often times that lesson could not be learned if we had not been challenged in such a new and drastic way. And through it I believe a greater happiness is there for us once we discover our own potential.

How do you challenge yourself? Have you attempted to learn new things by taking college courses? Have you searched for new work or tried to improve yourself in your current work? Have you set any goals and then achieved them? Everyone who challenges himself or herself takes a risk. Yet such risks are necessary if we ever wish to “move beyond our present circumstances.” Instead of allowing comfort to impede growth, risks opens up the potential for growth, learning, development, higher self-esteem, financial stability, and more fulfillment and greater happiness in life. And as we grow in happiness and fulfillment, we have the ability to share our growth with others and encourage them to step out of their own comfort zones simply by providing them with a positive role model.

I pray you challenge yourself in life. Choose wisely, persevere diligently, and then take those obstacles on with all that you have, allowing your strengths and abilities to come to the surface, and enabling you to grow stronger as you meet each challenge. Surprise yourself and let yourself grow. Step out of your comfort zone and be all that you were meant to be!

Accept the challenges of the day.

Questions to consider:

What are some difficult challenges you have faced recently? What made them so difficult?

What strengths do you possess that might help you to meet such challenges? Where have you acquired them?

Who is someone you know who effectively meets the challenges of life? What strategies does that person employ?

For further thought:

“As we rise to meet the challenges that are a natural part of living, we awaken to our many undiscovered gifts, to our inner power and our purpose.” ~ Susan L. Taylor

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Add New Purpose And Meaning To Life By Spending Some Time Seeking The Silence Within

“Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself and know that everything in this life has a purpose, there are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from.” ~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross …

Looking at every event in our lives, as “blessings given to us to learn from,” is a wonderful way to get the most out of this earthly journey we are on. And right there, in the silence within ourselves, we have available one of the best ways to experience life in such a way–to find purpose, to recognize blessings, to espouse gratitude, and to find the answers for which we seek. Once we discover how to get in touch with the silence within, we welcome into our lives true peace.

Getting in touch with the silence within is really about learning to accepting our lives and their dynamics; it is about learning to live healthier lives by not allow stress and misery to keep us from living our lives to the fullest. And when we are able to accept that there is a purpose and a reason behind the things that seem to have none at all, we acquire the ability to live in peace without wasting precious moments wishing that things were different or that the situation had turned out exactly as we had hoped for. This peace allows us to realize that things are as they are… and the silence within us allows us to find that peace as a positive force in our lives.

Everything in life has a purpose and a meaning. And although we may not always accept this truth, in those moments when we do find the peace and silence within, we have available to us an astounding glimpse at the divinity within.

Add new purpose and meaning to life by spending some time seeking the silence within.

Questions to consider:

Who are some individuals you know that value silence in their lives? Why might it be so important to them?

Do you seek out silence in your life? How often?

In what ways can silence benefit your life and the life of those around you?

For further thought:

“Silence stands outside the world of profit and utility. It cannot be exploited for profit; you cannot get anything out of it. It is “unproductive,” therefore it is regarded as useless. Yet there is more help and healing in silence than in all useful things.” ~ Max Picard

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