First, recognize the fallacy in thinking that there is ever not abundance. Everyone has abundance all the time. The question is: Abundance of what?

Imagine yourself on a tropical island. What do you notice? Most likely, you will notice that the scenery is exquisite, the ocean colors are gorgeous. You may notice how the sand glimmers, and the sweet smell of the tropical flowers, along with the depth of green in the foliage. If you take a moment, you’ll probably also notice how good you feel there. That’s because in this environment, there is an abundance of peace, beauty, and excellent air to breathe.

The point is that abundance comes in many different forms. And we need to think about what kind of abundance we really want and need, instead of getting trapped into the standard definition of abundance by a given culture. In this culture, abundance of money is what everyone seeks. But there are many other abundances that bring a far greater and lasting wealth.

Q: This isn’t the first time that you seem to discourage people from seeking money. But in order to live and raise children in this culture, it seems pretty necessary. Since we’re talking about abundance, isn’t money as legitimate an abundance as any other kind?

Money, in and of itself, is not the issue. Nor are material things. It’s the extent to which people shape their values and define themselves by these things. It’s the extent to which people are willing to focus the majority of their time and attention on acquiring these things to the exclusion of other kinds of balance, fulfillment, and abundance. The desire for money and possessions easily spins off into a negative when their accumulation becomes an obsession that takes you away from yourself and your family.

Money and possessions are meant to be used as tools for your use along the way. But if you find yourself thinking that you can’t be happy or won’t be successful until this or that happens, or until you have (fill-in-blank), or you put your life on hold for any reason, then you have succumbed to the trap that accumulation or acquiring of any sort represents any kind of true abundance, or will bring any kind of permanent happiness.

Q: I’d like to hear you talk about what you think goes into creating an abundant life.

First, recognize the fallacy in thinking that there is ever not abundance. Everyone has abundance all the time. The question is: Abundance of what? Abundance of love? Abundance of depression? Abundance of success? Abundance of problems? Let’s see clearly from the beginning that there is always abundance.

If one is living an unconscious, blaming life, then the abundance is more often of problems. Once one begins living consciously, paying attention, learning from one’s mistakes, learning to focus and direct one’s thinking and actions, then one can begin shifting the abundance to areas one chooses.

The first step is to specifically identify the type of abundance you wish to attract. In the beginning, it’s helpful to not place restrictions on playing with the idea of abundance. Yes, some of it will be unrealistic or unattainable for various reasons, but what’s important is to learn the process of opening the mind to greater possibilities. That’s really what we’re talking about.

The next step is to allow yourself wishful or magical thinking. Most people are quite good at that. But without taking the other necessary steps, it cannot move out of that realm of fantasy. Unfortunately, many people are such good fantasizers that they actually do experience a certain emotional biochemical release simply from the fantasy itself. This creates an additional illusion of partially experiencing a satisfaction or a completion from the fantasy.

Remember that what you think is what the body physiologically creates as your reality. Your emotional and physiological state follows your thinking. This is a simple fact to prove. Focus on a happy thought. Take a sample of your blood and analyze the chemistry. Focus on a sad thought, take another sample. You will see that your blood chemistry changes as the thought changes.

This is a point worth making so let’s use a handier example. Imagine that you are really parched and the only thing you have to quench your thirst is a juicy, sour lemon. You jab your thumbs into the flesh, pull it apart, and bite into a dripping chunk. Your mouth involuntarily puckers at the tartness.

If you have really imagined eating the lemon, you’ll notice that your mouth is salivating. There is no lemon. In less than 15 seconds, your body has generated a physiological response to a thought. Change your thoughts and you change your reality.

Let’s return to the discussion of the fantasy process: the mind then needs to decide what benefit it has experienced from the fantasy to determine if this is something you really want, or if you were just looking for a temporary mental vacation. The next and more difficult step for most people requires some type of action to begin bringing the fantasy into reality. You must begin the practical work of sifting out what you really want vs. what just satisfies a temporary emotional need.

Now it’s time to bring what you think you want into a creative visualization. See yourself sitting in front of a movie screen with a projector behind you showing a movie of what your life would be like if you had X,Y, or Z. Replay the movie several times. Make notes about how you feel and think about what you see. Then find other people who have what you want and ask them what it has done for them. That won’t necessarily tell you what it will do for you. But if you ask several people, you’ll begin to see a common thread between all of the stories. It’s important to find that thread, because that’s the common reality that all people will share from that particular experience. For example, everyone wants more money. Yet all very wealthy people say that money has not made them happy. Those kinds of realities can be found in anything that you wish for.

The next practical step is to modify or revise what you think you want to something more suitable to who you really are and what you really need. Test and refine again. Now it’s time to figure out how to bring that into your life. Research is most useful here: how did other people do it; what steps did they take; what thoughts did they think; what plan did they make? It’s advantageous if you can be clear at the beginning so you know why you want what you want. This will significantly shorten the time span and greatly improve the chances of bringing it into your life.

If you don’t do those basic steps first, you set yourself up for hit and miss experiences. You think you want something, and then you get it only to realize that’s really not it. Now you think it’s this. You get it, you realize that’s not it. Now you think it’s that. When you are clear from the beginning, you avoid those extra steps, which, while opportunities to learn, are not a necessary part of the equation.

You also have to believe that there is a chance for you to achieve the abundance you are asking for. Otherwise you will cancel out any positive steps you take with negative thinking. As we’ve discussed previously, a positive intent and a negative thought are like two waves hitting each other and canceling out to create a flat surface, which prevents the transfer of energy.

Q: How can one apply this to starting a new business?

Here is the process that most new businesses go through. You know what you want; you’ve researched; you’ve made a realistic plan. Because of fear, or ignorance, some important steps get avoided or left out. You don’t make the phone calls. You haven’t researched and lined up enough prospective clients, customers, vendors, etc. Because you are optimistic and full of faith at the beginning, you are inclined to underestimate how much capital you will need to survive the initial startup phase. So, many of the critical steps don’t get taken often enough or consistently enough because of over-confidence, procrastination, fear, or denial. Thus, most businesses run into a major crisis within the first six to twelve months.

It’s at this point that you realize the business is not going to survive easily or without pain. Now the real soul searching gets done. Perhaps you decide you can’t or won’t do what’s required to turn things around and you fold, with your confidence tattered. Or you heed the wake-up call and take notice of the crisis point you’ll shortly reach if you don’t drastically change your approach. You decide to make the changes, and successfully manifest abundance from the mental to the physical plane.

Do you understand that what we’re talking about is how all have abundance all the time? It’s about learning to select and direct where you want to shift your abundance to.

Q: Yes. How does someone determine what type of abundance is right for them?

You must ask yourself what you want from life. What are your values and priorities? What do you want the overall picture of your life to look like? Because you live in a world of limited thinking and limited dimensions, most are afraid of positive abundance. You think that you can only ask for one little thing, when, in fact, you could ask for as much as you can hold within your mind and body.

What you’re doing is setting up what you wish to draw into your life over a life span. It doesn’t hurt to think of all the kinds of abundance you want. No, it’s not possible to acquire them all at once because of your linear experience of time. But you can set to work imagining all of the different kinds of abundance you want. For instance, over your life span, you will be interested in abundance of time spent with loved ones, abundance of learning, abundance of play, abundance of interesting work, abundance of money, abundance of spiritual growth and contribution, abundance of travel, abundance of health, abundance of recognition for your talents.

Q: Yes. That would pretty much cover it.

Realize that you already have some of these. Then choose one thing that is most important to you right now and make inroads there. In time, it creates an energy that feeds on itself, where you can release it and have it do the work for you, instead of you mentally working hard to make it all happen. It’s about getting to that critical mass point of a business where now the clients come to you instead of you having to work hard to get the clients. As you build on abundance, it begins building on itself, until finally it can begin to spill over into all parts of your life.

Q: So how do we get focused on what abundance is right for us?

Think about the times in your lives when you felt the happiest. What occurrences and experiences triggered such happiness? By examining the list, you will see that certain patterns emerge, certain kinds of abundance that make you especially happy or thankful. That will begin to show you what is right for you.

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