(NNPA)—I’ve been talking about the idea of investing in yourself numerous times in many previous articles. I want to reiterate this point again, even at the expense of repetition. It’s not always easy to invest in ourselves. There’s a lot at risk when we put ourselves out there emotionally, spiritually and physically. But these human elements are part of the success equation.
While we like to think we are investing in ourselves every day, the truth of the matter is we don’t. All too often we let the poison of everyday life—the stress, the bills, the bosses, other people’s vision, and the craziness of a 24-7 society—take over and rot our motivation and inspiration to move closer to our goals and dreams. We don’t take time to read and learn new things. We don’t permit ourselves to have a time-out so we can give back to ourselves through rest and relaxation. And we don’t stop to feed ourselves the kind, cheerful words we want to hear from that voice inside. Instead, we let life lull us into a robotic, semi-complacent state where we don’t have access to our dreams and goals.
This is when you begin hearing “I can’t, I can’t,” playing over and over again with no end in sight. I can’t go to the gym. I can’t start my own business. I can’t think about another career. I can’t get out of debt. I can’t go back to school. I can’t find my purpose. I can’t be rich. I can’t… I can’t…
Here’s what I have to say about that: YES YOU CAN. If you don’t go within, you go without. You deserve to get to where you want to be, period. Consider this: If your personal bank account is worth billions, imagine what you would be able to materialize in your outer world. But if your personal inventory is low—and you are not doing the things you love, guess what. You probably won’t be rich by any stretch of that world.
Like the old saying goes, life is not a dress rehearsal. This is the one life you are given so you best show up for yourself first. When I meet some people who get a little defensive when I ask them if they are happy and operating at 100 percent and they brusquely respond, “Yeah, I’m happy,” I don’t believe them. And if they are not lying to themselves they are lying to somebody. We all possess parts of ourselves that we would like to enhance. If not, we wouldn’t be human.
So here’s my message: Each day dedicate a percentage of yourself to your goals and dreams. Your consistency will add up over time. Remember, discipline weighs ounces but regrets weigh tons. In life, if you do not have discipline, you have nothing. People forget the power of focused discipline in the rut of life.
Devoting a percentage of time to the vision you have for yourself can be as simple as going to a physical place that recharges your batteries and allows you to reflect. It’s where you concentrate on honing in on and paying attention to your talents and skills. It can be a favorite chair in your home, a bedroom, or at your corner café.
This is a place where your thoughts roam free and where you’re not a prisoner of life. Much to the contrary, you feel an incredible sense of empowerment and the time seems appropriate to ask yourself those three questions:
Who am I? What am I becoming? Am I happy with who I am?
Doing this self-examination as often as you like will have the effect of building yourself up and giving you more clarity. It will also help you to take inventory of your life and make tiny shifts in the way you are talking to yourself. This might sound silly, but when we fail to check on ourselves routinely, we begin to fall into cycles of negative thinking and a self-defeatist mentality. With pessimistic thoughts entering our minds come bruises to our sense of self- worth and self-esteem. We begin to chip away at our subconscious, which then translates to the conscious decisions we make. And we all know what that ultimately means. It means we either get to where we want to be or not. Succeed or fail. Live richly or live poorly.
(Farrah Gray is the author of “The Truth Shall Make You Rich: The New Road Map to Radical Prosperity, Get Real, Get Rich: Conquer the 7 Lies Blocking You from Success” and the international best-seller “Reallionaire: Nine Steps to Becoming Rich from the Inside Out.” He is chairman of the Farrah Gray Foundation. Dr. Gray can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or his website at http://www.drfarrahgray.com/.)