Lately I’ve been itching to expand my business. (What’s new?) I thrive on new projects, on change. Not that I want to do away with the old, but rather to enhance, add to. After all, isn’t that the purpose of life here on earth – to grow? What do we plant that we don’t expect to grow?
I can hardly believe Star Brows has been in its new location for one year!? I’ve gotten busy and I’m loving it, but one thing good ole dad taught me is that what remains flat will head downhill eventually. Like water, which finds the lowest ground naturally. “Oh, you are so happy now. Your business is thriving. Why not bask in that – let well enough alone?” they say. That kind of thinking reminds me of a person saying “I’m in such great shape, why don’t I just take a break for a year and enjoy it?”
Let’s talk about growing in the area of financial success. According to Maria Nemeth, Ph.D. author of The Energy of Money, financial success is doing what you said you would do with money consistently with:
Clarity – Be clear about what is important to you and has meaning for you. This takes thinking, looking at your values and what you want your legacy to be, and real honesty. No one else can determine what success is for you. If you are going to succeed, you need a road map. Did you ever try going to MapQuest and getting directions somewhere without a destination address?
Focus – Your energy and attention need to be focused where they will do the most good. I’ve never been diagnosed with ADD, but some of my behaviors fit that disorder. My mind is a big-whirling-dervish of thoughts, ideas, and feelings. That’s why I’m writing this post – to focus. Focus and how to keep it is a whole different subject. Suffice it to say for now, you don’t need to dance with every random thought that floats by. If you do, you will never get anywhere.
Ease – Do things the easy way, taking small steps instead of running headlong, getting exhausted, and then being too tired to enjoy your accomplishments at the end of the day. The opposite of ease is struggle, not working harder. This is a tough one! Peace, joy, and gratitude all require a state of ease, and yet ease is as slippery as an eel. The conundrum is how to be “in action” and still at ease.
Grace – This is linked to your capacity to experience gratitude, to be grateful for what is in front of you right now. That’s it – end of subject. It all boils down to this very basic, fundamental premise: Be grateful – in the moment – for what is now. This state is like a launching pad into change and growth.
I was telling a friend the other day that my Success-O-Meter was at about a 4. “What?” she said, “You’re so hard on yourself. You work harder on your business than most people I know.” It got me to thinking about what success means to me and how I can redefine it so I feel ease instead of anxiety about it. So I ask myself – and now you – these questions:
1. Know yourself. What are you passionate about? What are your talents and gifts? What brings you joy and gives you energy?
2. Treat work like your life – not as separate from it. Are you tapping into your natural gifts to make a living? If not, it makes me wonder how happy eight hours (more or less) of your day are.
3. Change is the unalterable norm. If you are doing what you are passionate about, ask yourself – are you treating it like a living, breathing entity that changes and grows as you do? You may be doing exactly what you want to do, but you’re not making enough money or it’s getting stale and you are bored with it (or don’t feel the energy needed to keep at it).
4. Don’t listen to the negative “voices” within. In the book, The Energy of Money, the author refers to the Monkey Mind, like the Gremlins in Taming Your Gremlin, or the Stoicheion in Greg Boyd’s video sermon. This force, entity, mindset, can prove destructive. That critical, negative, nagging voice inside you that hates growth, enlightenment, change or happiness is always buzzing. We can’t stop it, but we can choose to ignore it, or even have a conversation with it that may look like this: “I know you see my efforts as below average and not good enough, and in some ways I think you’re right. But overall I choose to look at my efforts in this endeavor as successful and I’m patting myself on the back right now for all the hard work I’ve invested!”
5. Don’t be afraid to cross the border. If reality as we know it were divided into two parts, the top part could be called the physical reality (objects, stuff) and the bottom, the metaphysical reality (intangibles like hopes and dreams). Between these two realms is a border, and guess who guards it? The entity in #4. Turning your ideas, hopes, and dreams into reality requires that you cross this border, negate or defer the voices of opposition, and set to work step by step toward realizing your dream.
See you at the spa!