Most of us think that we’ll be happy ONCE we have freedom, but that it’s impossible that happiness can create freedom. Is it? How many of us can recall the last time we really rejoiced? Was it at a wedding three months ago? Perhaps a New Year’s Eve party? How many of us are looking forward to rejoicing next month for Saint Patrick’s Day? A dinner party next weekend?
Both represent both past and future opportunities, but how about right now?
“Rejoice in the things that are present; all else is beyond thee.” ~ Montaigne
How many of us rejoiced this morning because their computer that connects them to the world started right up? …That they’re probably reading this in a snuggly bed while checking their messages on their smartphone? That they’ll be able to goof off today and watch some sports with their buddies; maybe even have a beer or two? That they can stand under a hot shower (until someone flushes the toilet in the downstairs bath and yells at them to get the heck out of the upstairs bathroom)?
These may all sound like goofy excuses for rejoicing (especially that last one), but gratitude is not only the seat of all abundance, but it is also key to realizing your independence. It is in rejoicing and gratitude that you identify that which is important to you.
When you know what is important to you, you can divest yourself from the other stuff that the world says SHOULD be important to you. THAT, my friend, is some serious freedom.
I really take the time now to notice when things are going well. I notice how good coffee smells when making the first pot of the day. …When I’m driving down the highway at dusk and the fields have that buttery-right-before-sunset glow to them …The sound of a kid laughing in the park. All of these are moments that are easily ignored, but they are all gifts waiting to be recognized.
Even when things aren’t so Hallmark-ian, it pays to rejoice: when you lose the Big Account; when you lock yourself out of your car; when you date the wrong person. Each is a gift, waiting for you to see the lesson within so that you can apply it to tomorrow’s actions.
“Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present.”Â ~ Albert Camus
I really like the saying, “go big or go home.”Â Fully committing ourselves to our actions is where the magic lies. Half measures really do avail you of nothing. Try to imagine a wedding proposal where the man said to his girlfriend, “Yeah, well, the divorce rate stinks, but if you’re willing to give this marriage thing a shot, I’m game. …So, do you wanna get married, or what?” Blerg. (“No,”Â by the way – not to a halfhearted proposal such as that).
In order to give our all to the present, we must be prepared. Here are some ways to “train”Â for your life:
Â Meditate: Even if you can only start with 5 minutes a day, learn how to shut out the external world and tap in to your consciousness.
Â Maintain your Temple: this means taking the time to invest in your health – mental, spiritual and physical. A healthy individual is a responsive individual.
Â Educate yourself about your industry, career, calling: Success is where preparation meets opportunity, and so spend a few minutes a day reading blogs, articles or otherwise researching the subject that makes your heart sing.
Â Reach out to others who have already achieved what you hope to attain: Take the time to understand what is important to these folks; find out what you have to offer them, and connect (comment on their blogs; engage them on a social media platform).
Â Learn to recognize opportunity: And then act when your chance presents itself.
Â Do the work: This is the part where your action influences your tomorrows.
When we are tied to the past or connected to possible outcomes, we cannot live independently. We are bound by our regret of what has passed or by fears of what is to come. We must learn to fully inhabit the present and be prepared (as best we can) to deal with what happens. Living in the present requires an agility and flexibility which is a natural by product of independence. What are you doing to live fully?
Molly Cantrell-Kraig is a woman with drive. Possessing an innate sense of purpose and a pragmatic, solution-based approach to empowering people, she fused these two traits in order to establishÂ Women With Drive Foundation. Based upon its founder’s personal history, Women With Drive Foundation is a means through which Cantrell-Kraig may effect change on both a micro and macro level. By providing women with something as essential as personal transportation in order to transition them from poverty to prosperity, she, through Women With Drive Foundation, seeks to empower women to help them help themselves. Through this action, the individual applicant benefits, as does society as a whole. Follow Molly on twitter asÂ @mckra1g orÂ @WWDr1ve (Women With Drive Foundation) or “Like” them onÂ facebook.