by Judy M McCutcheon, MBA
I’m sure you’ve heard the old cliché ‘The grass is always greener on the other side,’ but is it really greener? You can rest assured that if the grass on the other side is greener, their water bill is also much higher. It’s just a matter of perspective.
We look at other people’s lives and wish for it; we look at the things they own and allow envy to colour our thinking. You look at them and might be thinking, I am in a better paying job, a higher position, how can he/she afford that big house, that car or whatever it is the person has that you think should be yours instead. So, what do you do? You go out and mortgage your life away and go into debt just to ‘show them.’ In fact, television and magazines tell us that there is something better up ahead and that we are missing out. We then beg, steal or borrow to get it. I know of a young lady who stole money from her employer and bought weave and 5 pairs of the same shoe in different colours. It doesn’t matter what we must do or how far into debt we go, once we are ‘keeping up with the Joneses.’
The idea that there’s something bigger and better out there prevents us from experiencing stability and satisfaction in the here and now. We miss out on what we have by concentrating on the things we don’t have. As I was writing this article I came across an advert on FaceBook from this guy who is willing to give away his book filled with the formulas for success but get this; you just have to pay $5 for shipping. He talks about becoming a millionaire in his 20s and how he flies in his private jet all over the world speaking to thousands of people etc, etc. Chances are a lot of us fall for this type of manipulation; our modern-day society is built of getting rich quick and instant gratification. Have you ever noticed that when these people are advertising their get rich quick schemes, they are always standing next to a private jet? Or they are either driving a Rolls Royce or a Bentley and the women are always impeccably dressed in the latest and most costly designer outfits? You look at all this, and you think, well, if this person grew up in a trailer park and that one was homeless, and this one was a low-paid secretary, then something must be wrong with me, what do they have that I don’t have?
Books such as the ‘Secret’ teach about the Law of Attraction, and it tells us that we can have the life we want, simply by thinking and feeling to attract what we want to us. Don’t get me wrong — I like the book. As a matter of fact, I have both the book and the movie. I believe in the Law of Attraction because it is one of the laws that govern the universe. What I think needs to be fully explained is that, while everything starts with a thought and that we bring about what we think about, we cannot and will not achieve anything without deliberate, persistent action. We cannot wish a different life or a better financial situation into existence. It takes a certain mindset to change your situation for the better. If you want financial abundance, you cannot have a scarcity and lack mindset. Napoleon Hill said it best when he said, “Poverty is attracted to the one whose mind is favourable to it and money (we can substitute whatever we desire here) is attracted to the one whose mind has been deliberately prepared to attract it.” This tells us that we must adopt a certain mindset, but that action is involved. Once we develop that mindset, it propels us into action, and it is that intentional action that brings us the desired results.
We cannot get without giving; it is as simple as that — there are no free lunches. To get the things you desire, you must be willing to sacrifice. Having a stable financial situation involves some direct action on your part. We look at what others achieve and wished it was our achievement; we fight them down not knowing what went into them getting the kind of results that they have. A person is succeeding professionally, and instead of wanting to learn from them, we demonise them. A small business owner is succeeding, and instead of supporting them, our intention is to ‘make them fail.’ All we see is their success; what we never see is the consistent, deliberate and persistent actions that brought them success.
The truth is, we create our own colours — we create our own shade of green. We all start out with the same colour grass, how green you keep yours depends on the amount of watering you do. We allow ourselves to be manipulated into thinking that something is wrong with us; the trick is for us to have self-control and to remain focused. We are all fine, none of us is perfect. Success means different things to each of us. So, your neighbour having a big house and the latest model car does not mean that you must try and outdo them. Is that your definition of success? Find out what success means to you, decide what you are willing to give to achieve it, then create a definite plan to achieve success on your terms. Deliberate and persistent action must be an integral part of your success plan.
Judy McCutcheon is a partner in the firm Go Blue Inc, a Human Development Company. www.goblueinc.net