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Live by Choice, Not by Chance

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Every day we are bombarded with choices. What to wear, where to grab lunch, what route we want to take to work and a host of other options are constantly flying at us all the time. And we seamlessly make the decisions. We all manage to dress ourselves, feed ourselves, make it to and from work, and live pretty consistent lives.

Why, then, do so many of us get crippled with decision overwhelm? Specifically, why is it so hard to us to choose to be happy? On the one hand, we are constantly viewing images of what happiness looks like. It’s expensive handbags and a jet set lifestyle with beautiful people a drinks that have no calories.

Though all of those things are nice, none of that stuff is actually going to make you happy. Happiness is something you’re going to have to work out on your own.

As a financial planner, I cannot stress enough the importance of choosing the right products and services for your money. And I’ve been privileged enough to help many people create a life they love at whatever start point they are at.

One of the main things that I’ve learned through this process, though, has nothing to do with money. It’s about choice. And the best choice many of my clients had to learn how to make was the one of happiness.

A foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise grows it under his feet. ~ James Oppenheim

Were their problems instantly solved once they made the choice? Did everything all of a sudden magically go their way? Did they look in the mirror and adore everything about themselves and their lives? Of course not! But what did happen is that they knew they had the power and the tools to make enormous, scary chances in their lives.

People think happiness is a destination. It’s not. It’s a way of living. It’s a fraternity you have to continuously pay your membership fees to. Once you decided to join, though, all of those roadblocks that kept you up at night with overwhelming anxiety will get a lot easier to traverse.

Action step

A goal is a dream with a deadline. ~ Napoleon Hill

Live by choice, not by chance. Wealth rarely just falls into your lap. Neither does happiness. Like wealth, happiness is earned. And you earn it by choosing.

We look at success athletes, actors, heads of companies and other people considered wealthy and successful to have it all. They have enough money to buy whatever they want. They travel. They lead glamorous lives.

But you know what? They worked for it. They spent decades sacrificing for their craft, focusing intensely on their goal and building their destiny. Behind every successful person is a long, long journey set in motion not by chance, but by choice. Let’s view the choice of happiness the same way.

So here’s what you can do. Every day set a goal for yourself to be happy, and make the deadline for that goal bedtime. No more dragging your feet about this choice. Nothing in your life will be more important because nothing will change, empower or enlighten you more than choosing to be happy.

Like this blog? Share it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter.  Also, be sure to sign up for my bi-weekly newsletter Financial Consciousness. And join the conversation on Facebook where we’ve grown together and act as a community to promote financial healing.

How to integrate your life through self-acceptance

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Welcome to 2016: the Year of Integration

The words we say to ourselves can oftentimes be much more damaging than the ones others say to us.

Ugh, we did I eat all of that? I’m so fat! I can’t believe I spent all that money. I’m so irresponsible. That fender bender was totally my fault. I’m so stupid.

Why do we hate ourselves so much? Why do we continue to put so much energy into disliking the things about ourselves that aren’t perfect?

And how do we rewrite the script?

First, let’s talk about why you’re doing this. We all have things that make us unhappy about ourselves; that’s normal. The problem comes in when we see so many ads showing us what our lives should look like. Images filled with beautiful people on fabulous vacations and luxury cars are what we should all want, right?

Read More

How to Awaken Your Spirit

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When was the last time you dreamed? When you dreamed about your family goal of a big international vacation. Or your work dream of changing industries to something a little risky. And your personal goal of ending a relationship that no longer serves your best interest.

Do you remember when you allowed yourself to think about the things you truly wanted and didn’t immediately shoot it down? If the answer is no, why haven’t you allowed yourself to dream? And if you have dreamed for a moment, why did you shoot it down so quickly?

The challenge that many of us are facing today is that we’ve stopped dreaming. We’re so connected to devices, everyday life issues and “reality” programming that we’ve lost touch with the things we truly wanted. Our day-to-day needs supersede goals, and daily goals take precedence over dreams. Read More

Work hard to be lucky

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How often do you say the phrase “must be nice” when referring to another person’s good fortune? We are spectators in other people’s lives, only seeing exactly what they want us to see. And for many people, what we see is a person who is lucky. Their boss is always asking them to lunch. The PTA always takes their opinion into account when making decisions. Or, how did they just decide to open up a business and it became immediately successful?

Luck. Of course. Some people are just lucky.I have a slightly different take this. I don’t believe in pure luck. Sure, some people truly do just happen to be in the right place at the right time when the stars are aligned. But for the most part, ‘luck’ is a strategy for success. What do I mean by that? I mean that the luckiest people you will ever come across are the ones who positioned themselves to be that way.

Lucky people get promotions quicker because they knew building a solid network at work is a hard and fast rule of climbing the corporate ladder. The doors of opportunity seem to constantly swing open for the lucky ones because they got involved in the things they were interested in and consistently contributed to the community. They spent the time to get to know the decision-makers in the PTA, and they formed relationships with entrepreneurs in the area to get their business off the ground so quickly.

So how do you do what they did? How do you set yourself for success before opening the doors to your goals? The biggest thing to remember is to keep going. Keep laying the groundwork for your business idea. Keep going to the gym and eating healthy for your weight loss goals. Keep meeting people in the industry you want to be in. Keep contributing to your desired community any way you can. Just keep going.

Don’t allow the stress – especially the stress associated with this time of year – get you off track. Success isn’t a destination; it’s a choice you make every day to chip away at your goals. Yes, founders of billion-dollar companies are successful. But so is the woman down the street who paints a little bit every day so she can hone her craft. And so is the college student working nights and weekends to pay rent and tuition. Those people are choosing, every day, to do something to better themselves.

When it comes to you in your life, trust the work you’ve been doing towards your goals and know that the work is setting you up to take everything to the next level. Your time is coming, and it is divine. It’s your job to make sure you are up for the task.