Why did things improve at first after reading TSS and then go south?
Posted by Trevor on 3 April 2013 | 6 Comments
Among the many mysteries in life such as why “Abbreviation” is such a long word, and if animals have no concept of time why do my dogs pester me to go out at exactly 8 am, is another that has been flummoxing a few readers recently:
…” for a while everything got better. I even got the job I wanted at the salary I wanted. I was so excited about life for the first time in years, but then I hit a wall and things just seemed to go from good to bad to worse at work and in relationships…”
I received three similar emails this week, and I was going to reply to each individually when I came across an article on a neuroscience website about why money does not buy happiness. People who don’t have wealth usually write those articles, and they always cite lottery winners as the evidence for their premise. We all know the story… person has been unemployed, life has been a struggle, drinks too much to douse the pain, spends the nights anesthetizing the brain with reality TV… then wins $300 million… goes out and buys house and car of dreams, treats everyone to free drinks in the local bar… and then one by one the friends become resentful and find excuses not to go to the regular parties. In the bar people decline the offer of a drink. In the new neighborhood it feels like being a fish out of water, and the neighbors think so too. Months later when the journalist arrives to interview the winner about how life has changed, the response is that actually the winner is not happy at all, and now takes anti-depressants for the loneliness. Ha-ha says the neuroscience journalist… I knew it all along, money cannot buy happiness.
The thought process behind this type of article, and the genuine questions from readers, are linked. With the Three Simple Steps when we commit to change, we send a high-energy message to life to get us something we want. The journey from where we start to where we go, however, will be different for everyone, as different as finger prints. It is a unique math equation gets created for each person that takes into consideration:
1) Where we are at
2) Where we Intend to go
3) What experiences we have had to this point that can help us get there
4) What additional experiences we need to have in order to handle the situation when we get there
5) Who needs to stay, who needs to step aside, and who needs to come into our lives to match the speed of the journey to when we will be ready to handle the Intention.
6) What skills we have that are useful
7) What additional skills we need to learn along the way
There is not a statistical physicist or mathematician on the planet who can devise the equation for anyone, not even themselves. Hence my catchphrase… set the Intention and let life fill in the details.
Part of controlling mentality is to remove judgment from your mindset. When something happens to us we typically immediately judge it as good or bad. Prior to making a covenant to change, we might be justified in judging these life events. Thereafter, we have set in motion an adventure from which there is no return ticket, and no possibility of cancellation. What shows up is part of the journey.
Life will then need to prepare you for whatever Intentions you have set. For the majority of people that will set in motion a sequence of joyful experiences and events. Most emails I receive tell a story of one magical delight after another. Some, however, speak to unexpected challenges showing up, and the tendency is to judge them as wrong or bad or undesirable. They are simply experiences, there for a reason, and the trick is to look at them closely and try to pick out the lesson they are teaching. It is easier to write about than to do, but changing our attitude from judgment to one of learning makes a difference.
Three Simple Steps would be of little value to you if the story were a straight-line adventure from poverty to success. It was not. I had to experience difficult relationships and challenges with various peers and bosses in order to become an effective CEO. I had to learn what working in a miserable place at a job I did not care for felt like to gain the motivation to never be in that situation again. I had to get what being in debt does to one’s self esteem and mentality to start to mature about the benefits of wealth. In my thirties, I even had to go back to school and get re-educated. Those are experiences I would not have chosen at the time, but without them I doubt I would have got far away from the quicksand.
Then I had to experience and understand what resentment of success felt like, and how trying to make something of myself changed the attitude of others toward me.
I give fair warning in Three Simple Steps that the journey is simple but not easy, and it can be a lonely one at times. That is why you must appreciate what change means when you make that covenant. You may find yourself having experiences you would not otherwise have chosen, and you have to work on your mentality to observe them for what they are.
If you go from quicksand to $300 million in an instant, it would be unlikely that your mentality is ready for it. There has to be a period of preparation and study, and at times it can feel like things are spiraling downwards instead of always upward. That is why in There Simple Steps I used the metaphor of the Way of the Winding Staircase. If you want another image of the process in play, watch the first Harry Potter film where all the staircases magically move and send the kids to somewhere they were not expecting to go, but had committed to the moment they decided to investigate what was hidden in the tower. That is a great image for what happens after you commit to an Intention.
It is not a plea for faith, because you don’t have to believe in anything in order for the Three Simple Steps to start putting the pieces together. You just have to keep controlling mentality, taking quiet time, and imagining Intentions as already achieved. Try to see through the experiences and avoid judging them as good as bad. The longer you judge them either way, the longer they must persist in order for you to get the message. You are better off smiling and asking life to help you understand the purpose and then things will move on… in which direction who can say?
As for the lottery, I have never purchased a ticket. It is so much more fun to build the experience and take control. I always felt that when someone buys a lottery ticket they are saying to life that this is the only way they think it possible to get what they want. Life tends to agree with whatever thoughts we have.