One of my favourite pieces of inspiration to, well, everyone is “to feel what you want to feel”. I want you to take that instruction literally, and make a point of consciously choosing your feeling state.
What most people hear, however, is that their current feelings are invalid or that they have to do some sort of action journey to get to those other feelings. And I keep wanting to say, cut out the middle man. Jump straight into the feeling of, for example, security, love, abundance without first inventing a reason to feel those emotions.
The issue too many people have is we’ve learned a really bad habit from our elders and that’s to wallow in negative emotion. Nobody new to this life wallows in negative emotion. Watch your pets. Watch your kids. They throw their tantrums, they get scared, they get sad, they get frustrated, they get angry, they get agitated, and they get over it.
Unless a child or pet is subjected to repeated trauma, they feel the not-nice emotions of their current situation fully and dramatically, and often very quickly recover, too. They are quick to return to a space of love and playfulness once the drama is over.
Adult humans, on the other hand, have learned to sit in misery for years on end, and often never get over it. Your world has done you a disservice in training you away from your natural instincts. In fact, your world has done itself a disservice because the world we live in is a direct result of people who can’t get over their shit and continue to take it out on others.
Fortunately, the younger and younger generations are rejecting this notion of sustained suffering, and are actively enjoying more of their young lives. And the world is getting better for it.
The reality is that your emotions are a simple but very informative navigation system.
Think about it. You feel best when you are doing the activities you enjoy, and that energise you. And when you’re spending time with people you love and who you can be mostly yourself around. And when you’re focusing on fantasies and pursuits and desires and achievements that invigorate and please you.
And on the other side, you feel bad when you are forced to spend time with people you don’t like, doing menial things that don’t excite, wearing clothes that don’t inspire your soul, and when you’re being a shadow of your true self.
Your emotions are telling you what you prefer to fill your life with. They even tell you how much you want or don’t want something in your life by the intensity of the emotion you’re feeling. Unbridled passion reveals something you intensely want. Unbridled anger reveals something you intensely do not want.
So, wouldn’t it make sense to use this information wisely and actively direct your life towards people and places and things and activities and opportunities and experiences that mostly please you?
Write a list of everything you want, things that you have as well as things that you don’t yet have.
Go through the list and get specific about why you want what you want.
Say you want an abundance of friends and lovers. Why do you want friends? Because it’s fun to have company. Because you’re a very social creature. Because you have a lot of love and care to share with others.
List out your personal reasons. As many as you can reach for. Push yourself to fully appreciate your desire and why it’s important to you.
This is an important step because it helps you wean out desires that may not be as important as you thought. Prioritise your list and scratch off items that aren’t 100% your desires.
Things like getting a job and having kids and being married are honourable pursuits, if that’s your wants, but most often they’re desires that society has conned you into having. All else being fair, feel for yourself if what you want is a job or financial security. Do you want marriage or are you seeking any wholesome, nourishing form of companionship?
You will know for yourself. You might need to chip away at layers of social conditioning but you remain the final decision maker. You are the only person who gets to make and who can make that decision. Nobody can perceive the world like you can. Which means nobody else gets to decide what you want in your life in order to be happy.
When you’ve fine tuned your list, meditate on each item, feeling for the appreciation you have for the item. If the item exists in your life already, use that feeling to inform how you’d feel about something that is still coming. Focus on how you would feel once the item has been achieved or acquired.
Further fine tune your list to the most critical right now desires, and then, every day, for each item on the list, close your eyes, and take the time to genuinely and completely appreciate the achievement of your desire.
Feel what it would feel like to have achieved that desire. How happy are you? How relieved are you? How thankful are you? How at peace are you? How satisfied are you? What does it feel like to have achieved this goal?
Identify these feelings, remember them, and feel for them in your now. Set an intention to do this regularly. The “doing” part of the journey is doing what you can to convince yourself to feel as though your mission is already complete.
Really connect with those feelings. Be aware of automatic thoughts turning you away from those feelings back to a feeling of lack or back into the knowing that you don’t have your desire yet. As you become aware of them, breathe, do your best to recentre, and reconnect to the inevitability of your success.
Practice this every day for at least a month, and, when you’re seeing results, add more of your desires to the list and repeat the practice.
Have fun with it. Don’t make it work. Don’t make it a chore. Don’t make it something you have to do, like so many other “have to”s in your life.
Be gentle with yourself and with this process. Just commit to at least 5 minutes every day, and commit to living a life that is mostly what you want to be living. And, for now, that looks like simply spending a few minutes each day imagining your success, until you are enthusiastically inspired to action.
And you will be. You may have been convinced by your society and your elders that action is more important that mental focus, and they’d be wrong. Every extremely successful human from Oprah to Mandela have taken command of their mental focus, and have committed to being there in their mind’s eye first.
That’s where the journey truly starts. In your thoughts. Think your way through the journey, adjust, add to, remove from, tweak to suit you. Envision as fully as you can the achievement of your individual goals. Manipulate the thoughts inside your head until you’ve designed, as close as you can get to, as complete a picture as possible of your success.
Not “how” you succeeded, the actual success. Begin your imaginary scene from the point of your success. In other words, in your thoughts, feel out the aftermath of your success. How are you feeling? Ecstatic? Honoured? Pleased? Grateful? How are your friends and family responding?
Since this is in your head, you don’t have to conform your vision to your reality. Make all your friends supportive. Or just envision the supportive ones. You are in control of your thoughts and, therefore, you get to think whatever you want to think. You conjure the pictures from your own mind.
Now, if that sounds impossible for you, then you need to step back and do some more meditative work first to calm those runaway thoughts. Don’t try to fly before you can crawl yet. Get your mediations on track and then come back to this practice.
Once you do have more command over your thoughts, and you are actively and consciously choosing the thoughts that feel good for you, you’re on your way.
Now you’re more often feeling what you’ve wanted to feel. You’ve cut out the middle man of action and replaced it with a new middle man: thoughts. You have learned how to think yourself into the feeling state of your desires, which is a much faster journey than the action one.
You see, now the action journey becomes less vital. Not non-existent, simply not the most dominant part. And, more importantly, when you are in a closer feeling state to your success than to the lack of it, you will actively be identifying opportunities and thinking up solutions to complete the journey. And then the actions you take will be the most obvious ones.
The world is a playground, laden with opportunities to experience pretty much whatever we want to experience.
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