It's been growing slowly for several months.
A slight feeling of frustration, restlessness, annoyance...
A dissatisfaction with this or that. Irritation at circumstances and situations.
Don't get me wrong... I have a great life. I'm married to an amazing man, have wonderful children, and I'm living my dream.
But does that mean I'm content?
Well, yes... and no.
I am happy. I enjoy each day, I enjoy my kids. I'm deeply in love with my husband. I relish moments and take pleasure in the simple things.
But I'm also very discontented. In fact, it's worse than that... I'm disgruntled...disgusted.
"Why?" you ask?
I guess it's because I've been "infected with that 'divine dissatisfaction with things as the are"... my heart is hungering for something even better. I still have big dreams that are unfulfilled.
I've been infected for some time now, but it comes and goes with intensity. It started when I first began to realize that I wasn't required to accept the world as I found it, but that I could instead design the life I really wanted to live... complete with travel, money, and adventure.
This 'divine discontent' has been somewhat dormant the past year and a half we've been living in Guatemala... but it's making a resurgence, with passion.
There is 'something' within me that urges me on to bigger and better things -- to see more of the world. to make more of a contribution, to expand my options and influence. It's the same 'something' that is responsible for all the great accomplishments of this world.
Too many of us are 'comfortable' with life (that's how I've been), or simply living in 'survival mode' and as a result our dreams are withering away.
Too many of us are living by the 'old idea' that men and women must accept the world as they find it... follow in the footsteps of those before -- go to school, then to college, get a job and retire at sixty-five.
You're born into a certain location and station, and to try and rise above it, to change it is almost sacrilegious. God has decreed by birth the position we're to occupy in this life, who are we to defy it?
For us to be discontented with our 'lot', to dream or attempt to attain more is tantamount to tempting Providence to 'put us back in our place.'
This is the 'old idea' that has existed for hundreds, even thousands of years. It's the system that created aristocracy and feudalism, the separation between rich and poor, average and achiever.
But there's a 'new idea' taking hold in the minds of humankind. This new idea is the basis of democracies, civil rights and an increase of world-wide wealth and improvement.
This 'new idea' is the realization that men and women are not bound by any system pre-determined by others -- the realization that we need not accept our world as we find it, but we can instead remake it to our own liking.
It is this 'new idea' that is responsible for all our inventions, all our progress. Mankind is satisfied with nothing. He is constantly remaking his world. And now more than ever... psychology teaches us that each one has within himself the power to become what he wills. - Robert Collier (The Secret of the Ages: The Master Code to Abundance and Achievement)
Do we believe in this 'new idea'? Or do we acquiesce to the 'status quo', accept our lot in life, and struggle through each day, not even sure anymore what we're struggling for (if we ever knew)?
Are we ready to change it? Are we ready to let our dreams flourish and grow so they can actually have a chance at coming true?
I know I am! I've done good things with my life, but I'm ready to do more!
How do we do it? It starts here:
1. Control Your Thoughts
Most of us spend the majority of our 60,000 daily thoughts thinking about trivial things -- the laundry, what's for dinner, how messy the house is, or reliving annoyances and grievances telling ourselves "I should have said ______, or done _______."
You'll never improve yourself, and thereby your life, by dwelling upon the drawbacks of your neighbors. You'll never attain health by thinking about how sick you are all the time. You'll never achieve wealth and abundance by being preoccupied with your poverty.
Thought is energy. Thought proceeds action, which turns into habit, and habits are what determine our success... NOT our circumstances, or the government or our boss or the 'lucky break'. It's our habits (which are determined by what? Remember, I just told you a moment ago... that's right, our thoughts. Good job!)
Whatever we concentrate our energy/thoughts on will result in action and 'manifestation.' In other words, 'what you think about, you bring about.'
Still doubtful about the power of thought? Look around you. Wherever you are, whatever you're looking at, it first begin as an idea in someone's mind. The furniture, building, electronics, the light bulb... they all began as ideas that persisted in the mind until action produced a result (Edison failed thousands of times before he successfully invented the light bulb.)
Imagine of these great men and women spent all their time thinking about the same things you do? Do you think they'd have achieved what they did? I know it's shocking, but the answer is 'no'.
Glenn Clark (quoted by Robert Collier in The Secret of the Ages: The Master Code to Abundance and Achievement) had this to say about 'them' (the dreamers, inventors and visionaries):
Whatever we have of civilization is their work, theirs alone. If progress was made, they made it. If spiritual facts were discerned, they discerned them. If justice and order were put in place of insolence and chaos, they wrought the change. Never is progress achieved by the masses. Creation ever remains the task of the individual.
But who are they? Were they born into perfect families with perfect lives and the perfect circumstances?
No! Many, if not all, were disadvantaged from birth, did poorly in school, never went to college and were often accused of being 'crazy' (Marconi, the 'inventor of radio', was sent to an asylum by his friends because he spoke of the possibility of information being transported through the air by invisible waves.)
These people are no different than you and I. We too have the ability to create, invent, discover, live an extraordinary life and leave a lasting legacy.
All it requires is that you:
- Realize you have the power (we've had it all along, we've just never used it.)
- Know what you want (exactly.)
- Center your thoughts on it with 'singleness of purpose'.
It's that simple (but not always that 'easy'.) Controlling your thoughts is difficult. I know.
Watch this for more ideas:
If you are willing to go forward, to endure the mental discipline of mastering [your thoughts], nothing in the world can hinder you or keep you from overcoming every obstacle. - Robert Collier (The Secret of the Ages: The Master Code to Abundance and Achievement)
2. Start Where You Are
All growth and advancement comes by practice. You won't and can't achieve perfectly. But you can begin practicing. You can choose to head in the right direction. You can take the first step.
Maybe it begins with allowing yourself to dream -- giving space in your head for those long-lost desires. Start believing that you can have something different, something you really want.
Think of Bob. Just take 'baby steps'.
3. Have Faith
"Faith is the confidence, the assurance, the enforcing truth, the knowing that the right ideas" will come to you and help you create what you really want.
There's something bigger than us, a 'Universal Mind' from which all great inventions, discoveries and achievements have come. All knowledge is there. All wisdom is there. You have access to it.
"If you've been sick and ailing, if poverty and hardship have been your lot, don't blame it on 'fate'. Blame yourself... The power is there, but you must use it. It is round about you like the air you breathe. You don't expect others to do your breathing for you. Neither can you expect them to use your Mind for you." - Robert Collier (The Secret of the Ages: The Master Code to Abundance and Achievement)
"Yes, you’re scared. You’re nearly paralyzed with fear. The antidote for curing it lies in doing the very thing you are afraid to do. Because achieving success comes only to those who have courage - and courage is not the absence of fear, but action in the face of it." -Rachel and Greg Denning (Living Deliberately: How to Create a Ridiculously Awesome Life)
4. Don't Misunderstand
Being dissatisfied with life isn't an excuse to be unpleasant, depressed or disagreeable to be around. Discontent should be 'divine', a motivating force that drives you to be better, and to reach for your dreams.
Be contented with life, but don't settle for what is. Be grateful for what you have, but don't confuse gratitude with apathy.
Be appreciative for what you've already created in your life. But you have the power within to do more. Don't waste it.
5. This is Written for Me
I write these posts because, just like you, I get scared, uncertain, hesitant, filled with doubt. Reading and writing buoy my soul and help me to believe in myself.
I get discontented. I have desires and dreams. And I've learned that the discontent and desires are 'clues' or 'signs' that things need to change, that I need to change.
We aren't meant to live in discontent. We aren't given desires so they can remain unfulfilled. They're there to help motivate us to be, do and have more.
What do you want to achieve? What dreams lie dormant? What baby steps can you take? I'd love to hear from you.
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