Principles of AbundancePosted: July 26, 2017
This is the first in a series I will be writing to record my thoughts and experiences searching for greater levels of Abundance in my own life. You may find these helpful to you as well.
Before I dive in, let me make one thing clear: This is not based on something supernatural. It is not “The Law of Attraction.” It is not based on vibrations or various gods and goddesses intervening. It is actually based on some solid science about how our brains function.
For a long time I was a Christian (you’ll hear more about that later) and believed in two worlds, natural and supernatural. I became an atheist and no longer believe anything exists outside the “natural” world. Physics always trumps faith.
Having said this, recognize the Principles of Abundance I will begin to flesh out here and in future posts will be applicable to people with or without faith or religion. In fact, if you are a person of faith they may be a bit easier to apply than a person without faith.
What is Abundance?
Paul J. Meyer was a pioneer in what was to become the personal development industry. In 1960, Meyer started a business named “Success Motivation International” or SMI designed to teach business people how to find greater levels of happiness and fulfillment in their lives through goal setting and time management.
One of the key elements of his technique was to separate our lives into six parts and evaluate where we are in each. I first started reading his materials in college and quickly adopted those six areas in my own personal evaluations. Here are the six areas:
For a number of years after college I asked myself on a regular basis “what does ‘success’ look like in each of these areas?” Finally, about 10 years ago, I surveyed just over 10,000 people and got their responses to that question. Here are the results:
- Spiritual – Living in tune with deeply held values and beliefs.
- Mental – Having a mind that is sharp, peaceful and optimistic.
- Physical – Having a body that is fit, healthy, strong and attractive.
- Familial – Having a family that is happy and healthy.
- Social – Having a wealth of personal relationships where you are giving and receiving love, help and encouragement.
- Financial – Having more than enough for today and the future.
You don’t have to adopt these particular definitions, find ones that work for you. The point is, however, to understand what Abundance would look like in your life. For me and thousands of others, these definitions work pretty well. Your mileage may vary.
Beginning to Understand Principles of Abundance
When I was 12, at a church retreat, I became a Christian. At 16 I began practicing a daily ritual many Christians engage in called a “daily quiet time.” It was a time set aside each day for prayer, scripture reading and meditation.
As I grew in my faith, I added other rituals like fasting, scripture memorization.
At 17 I enrolled in a Christian college where I determined to spend my life helping other people find happiness in their lives. Particularly, at least for the next several years, I planned to do that through teaching and counseling Christian principles. I moved to rural Appalachia to help some of the most physically and spiritually impoverished people in the US.
I had big goals. I wanted to transform people’s lives by providing inspiration, well-paid employment and individual counseling. I began leading worship and helped start or restart several churches throughout eastern Kentucky.
By this time my prayers and other rituals were more about me seeking the will of God. Once I was convinced I was in God’s will in a certain area – like planting a church or growing a business to provide employment – I had incredible boldness and confidence. I truly believed if I did what God was calling me to do, I would succeed no matter how big the goal or how oppressive the obstacles may be.
My supernatural belief in the power of God gave me force of will to succeed. It worked, I was able to do many things I would never have dared attempt without God’s help.
Through a long series of events over a number of years, I decided to give up my faith in the supernatural. It was painful, discouraging and created a number of personal crises.
It was a necessary step to take me to where I am today, but it left me with an ongoing lack of confidence. In my mind I understood anything I had accomplished was done by force of my own will, not the will of any god or supernatural force, but mustering up confidence without belief was difficult. Knowing something in my head didn’t necessarily mean it was in my “heart.”
Regaining Confidence to Pursue Abundance
For several years I tried to rediscover the confidence I had once known. Confidence allowing me to build a successful business, raise happy and healthy sons, care for my ill wife. It worked to some extent, but still I struggled. I found it hard to embrace and believe in the grandiose ideas and goals I had once trusted God to materialize.
Over the next few years I was able to regain some confidence, but life seemed to have less purpose. My sons grew up, moved out and started families of their own. My wife and I parted ways. All of my life I had done things for God, my family and others, and now all I had was me, and on some level I wasn’t very motivated to pursue lofty goals for just myself.
Lack of motivation led to some problems. My business began to fail. I had to lay off workers. Money, which used to be abundant, was becoming scarce. I fell victim to my own unfulfilled desires and overindulged in many things, often on a daily basis.
By mid-2016 I knew I had to make some changes. I needed to get routine, significant income. I needed to find my own center. I needed to figure out what was holding me back from the mental joy and peace I desired.
By January 2017, I began to understand I needed to cohesive philosophy to pull together the various pieces of my life. I began reading various views, many of them ancient, about how to live life to produce happiness and abundance.
By May, I had found a puzzle piece that completely changed my life and my journey. More on that in the next installment.