“I have found that I cannot predict the stock market except over very long periods. I cannot tell you when the housing bubble will burst – only that it will burst. I cannot tell you when the dollar will stop rallying – only that it will stop. So I cannot tell you anything that, in a few minutes, will tell you how to be rich.
“But I can tell you how to feel rich, which is far better, let me tell you firsthand, than being rich. Be grateful. … Be grateful about everything and you’ll feel a lot richer than the billionaires I know who are always moaning about everything that happens and who lament, like King Canute, that they cannot control the waves of the market or the business cycle.”
– Ben Stein, writing in The New York Times
I absolutely agree with Ben. If you are financially rich (high net worth) but feel horrible, cynical, worried, and stressed, then you’ve just dug DOWN into a pit of hell rather than rising up and feeling great. The attitude of gratitude is one of the key paths to feeling rich… and attracting abundance that feels wonderful to heart and soul.
By being grateful for the blessings in our life, big or even teensie weensie, we are telling the Universe: “YES! I see what you are giving me. I want more of this.”
When I look at the curve of my net worth over my lifetime, I was LEAST happy when I was MOST wealthy. As I grew in wealth as a young entrepreneur, I had not learned to really celebrate the blessings, so the WORRY affected my health and sucked the joy out of being around me. Hey, no wonder my mantra was “I have no friends!” (Which wasn’t true, by the way.)
Now, as my wealth grows, I am coming from a very different place than 15 years ago. Sure, I am more mature. But people get old without necessarily becoming wise. I’ve been blessed by teachers, including one who reminded me to notice the smiles and not be so focused on frowns.
I am grateful for that time period where I was focused on what I did NOT want. I remember vividly how that feels. Today, the contrast of focusing on what I DO want feels so so so much better. Having made myself miserable, and then consciously shifting my focus, I have come to learn for myself that I am, indeed, far more a creator of my emotional experience than I had believed growing up. Where I put my focus dictates my experience. And if I want to feel incredibly rich, being grateful—and expressing appreciation for all that is in my life as a regular practice—seems to bring the greatest rewards.
An example comes to mind. Some people will see a lawn filled with dandelions and want to poison them, and they will focus on the cost and effort needed to eradicate these weeds. As a symbol of a shift in perception, I chose dandelions as “my flower.” They are bright yellow, tenacious, and abundant. I love them! So, what is “true” or “real” ? Are dandelions a weed or a beautiful flower? It is completely, utterly, a matter of emotional choice.
What can you be honestly grateful for in your life that, perhaps, you’ve not noticed before… or ignored for too long?