If I were to ask you “What do you want more than anything? What is your biggest wish right now?” Would you respond, “more money?”
I often ask people this question and have noticed that more money is the most common answer. Then I ask, “what would you do with the money if you had it? Doesn’t it make more sense to wish for the goal? Money is just a means to an end. Why dream about the vehicle instead of the destination?”
That question stumps most people. Because they had stopped thinking about what they would do with the money after receiving the coming-of-age talk. The talk that leaves them spellbound. Informed by the people they once looked to for guidance and advice, that it is time to stop dreaming. From now on focus on working hard and getting money, it’s the only way.
The talk happens, at the time in life when they will soon be leaving the nest. Having spent their whole childhood dreaming of this day and believing in the stories, fables, fairy tales and myths that said, “Anything is possible. The world is at your feet. You can become anything you put your mind to,” these new words of work, struggle and hardship, rip out their foundation, and leave them stumbling around looking for solid ground.
“Dreams won’t get you anywhere. Work hard now, earn lots of money and maybe you can dream later.” These words become the golden handcuffs that most, willingly accept and place around their wrists and ankles.
Those who used to encourage dreaming and imagination, say, “Now it is time that you learn about the Real World. In the Real World, life consists of struggle and the only way to get ahead is get money. Money will give you security, safety, and freedom. If you want to get ahead in this world put money first.”
Accepting “The Real World,” they get a job, put on a name badge, and became a number. Following in the footsteps of many generations before, unknowingly, they voluntarily place themselves in the first of many cages and begin accumulating stuff and awards to showcase their success and earn accolades from those who buy into the idea of the “Real World.”
Once money has become a priority above all. This is when their worth and how much money they have, became synonymous. Before realizing what happened, money took precedence over happiness and health. Now stuck in the system, another number, enslaved to money, having given away their power, the deepest desire becomes freedom. They have forgotten they are willing participants in the system and can always choose otherwise. They have the key to their cage and all they must do is use it!
Most people work their whole life hoping one day to make enough so they can feel free, completely unaware that the more they accumulate the deeper the enslavement becomes. Those who seem successful by the “Real World” standards, are just bound deeper and often experience an unsettling sadness because they have guilt in having so much and yet, feeling so dissatisfied and unfulfilled.
Why have we created the system we have accepted as the “Real World?” We didn’t create it. We have just accepted it. It is the American way. Make more and consume more, that is the American path to happiness. Yet, in America 1 in 6 people is medicated for depression and the suicide rate is astronomical. Is it possible that being told you are not enough over and over again leads to depression, angst, fear and loneliness?
This desire, and longing to be enough is a bottomless pit created by consumerism. Consumerism is the fuel the machine of society runs on and it will continue to tell you that you need more. Bombarded daily with the message that happiness is something you purchase. The subconscious mind chooses which thoughts and emotions the body will experience as it plays in the background like white noise. The recording is coming from the file folder full to the top, labeled, “I will be happy when.” Every item on the list born from an underlying fear that love and happiness is earned.
Working at a job you dislike succumbing to the status quo will only make you resentful of others who have remembered and taken back their power. You may even find yourself upset if someone else is happy for seemingly no reason. They don’t look like the magazine cover or have money. How dare they be happy. Don’t they know that happiness has a price?
I am here to tell you that can choose your freedom from these shackles just like them. Don’t condemn those who are happy, celebrate them. Stop celebrating those who talk about hard work and suffering being the way. Nothing you do feels like work when you are impassioned on purpose and filled with Joy.
Just by being born into this world it has been forever altered. The biggest impact that you can ever make has no action, effort or purchase price. Remember who you are. Return to that space of unconditional love that you came from. Love yourself and everyone else. Notice where you tend to make people behave a certain way before they are worthy of your love and see if you can remove the qualifications on your love. Begin loving everyone and everything without condition, remove the shackles of money by letting go of the attachment to stuff. Find peace within yourself. Ask, how can I give, not, what can I get and watch your whole world change. Remember that child within you that loved to dream and imagined a world with infinite possibilities and reestablish a relationship with that part of you. Dream again and watch the miracles unfold.