Want more love and money?
How about more freedom? And what about some extra fulfillment and happiness?
We all want more of these things, but we can go about them in unproductive ways. That is what this post is about.
Take the person who wants love in their life: we tend to seek to find love in the eyes of another, and when it happens, it’s delicious. But when the love fades or changes, which is always, what then? Looking for love in others isn’t a sustainable philosophy on love. We need the ability to generate the feeling.
Here are a few changes in focus we might make for more love and money.
The love swap: from seeking it, to generating it
Proactive, responsible people treat love more like a verb than a feeling. They generate love instead of waiting for it.
One way of generating more love is stopping withholding it! Nobody thinks of themselves as withholding love. It isn’t a conscious thing we do. But it is evident from things like not liking spending time by ourselves, and from those times we find ourselves trying too hard to manage other people’s perceptions of us. Also, it is obvious from being really critical towards, and intolerant of, others. When a person loves themselves and isn’t withholding from others, they’re more graceful.
So to feel more love, we can bring our attention to those times we are stingy with giving it to others – friends, family and strangers – and see if we can adapt that. The great thing about this approach is that as soon as we are more loving, we’ll experience more love naturally.
When it comes to loving ourselves, it’s the same. We can bring our attention to the times where we aren’t doing what we know is best for us, and ask ourselves what the story is. Identifying and removing the obstacles: it works! After a while, we can feel a sense of love that is independent of other people and what they are doing. I think this state exists within all of us, but it gets clouded over by the illusions of our minds.
What about some more pragmatic actions we can take to experience more love in real life? We stop associating with people who we don’t get a lot of love from (which isn’t personal. It is a reflection of their love for themselves). Also, we might start taking our time more seriously, and not wasting it with things and people that make us feel hungrier and unsatisfied. And we can learn about the specific ways we get in the way of pleasure and satisfaction in life.
The money swap: thought for action
As we all know, people can accumulate wealth a variety of ways. I am not talking about having financial freedom, which is possible for everyone.
No, I am talking about making LOTS of money! I do not currently make lots of money myself (don’t worry about me though; I do okay). But here is what I have observed about those closest to me who do:
- They position themselves in very lucrative careers – and work really, really hard.
- Or they might decide to work for themselves, and make a lot of money that way (they also work really hard).
- A third common example, which also involves working really hard, is the person who makes a lot of money by figuring out how to add value to others. That is probably the best, from an all-around perspective.
What we can say for sure is accumulating wealth isn’t contingent on a person’s intelligence or abilities. Another thing we can say is that anyone that has made a lot of money has positive, or at least neutral beliefs around money that has led to their ability to take consistent action towards gains. They are the ones busy doing what needs to be done, whilst everyone else is just talking about it, or doing their secure day jobs.
So if we do want to make more money, we could try acting more instead of endlessly thinking. I’m not talking about blindly doing things we know don’t work, but about intelligent action, which perhaps we’d take if we could simply overcome our passivity.
Being passive in our lives can be overcome, because it is a learned tendency. Something key seems to be getting a distance from negative emotions, particularly anxiety. Practicing mindfulness helps.
The freedom swap: complete liberty for psychological freedom
We’d all like more freedom to do what we want with our time. Sometimes, freedom is curtailed for a while, as we work within necessary short-term restraints. For example, the person who is pursuing making a lot of money (see above) might have a limit on their liberty and spare time for a period.
Until we do enjoy greater discretion over our time, we can exercise our power to choose our perspectives. This is real psychological freedom. But almost nobody gives it the focus it needs.
Psychological freedom is where we feel like anything can happen, and it won’t disturb us too much. It is because we source our security from something in our control: the meaning we attribute to the events of our lives.
The fulfillment swap: goals for values
I think we all pine for a fulfillment: the sense that we matter, and we are making a difference in the lives we touch.
To experience more fulfillment, we can try focusing on values rather than goals. If a person who ends up being a corporate lawyer has more of a value on justice and fairness, then they are never going to feel filled up by drafting a watertight contract – not in the same way as a person who gets off on accuracy and systems.
If you haven’t explored this much until now: a person can tell apart their values from what they care deeply about in life, and also what tends to make them angry and annoyed. These are clues to things we stand for and what we do not stand for.
Feeling fulfilled happens naturally when we, as far as possible, line our work up with our internal values.
The happiness swap: pleasure for emotional diversity
The way that we tend to pursue happiness might be the least productive thing of all.
We generally conflate happiness with pleasurable but intense emotional states: excitement, validation, orgasm. But high intensity emotions actually burn us out. Happiness over time is more like what we think of as contentment and peace.
One better focus for a person seeking greater happiness is developing a broader acceptance of their current emotions. When practiced over time, acceptance has the effect on making a person more positive. They build their ’emotional diversity’, which means they see all emotions including negative ones as more transient. This means they have a lighter mood.
So to feel more happiness, swap chasing pleasure and start accepting what you do feel right now.
I hope this has offered you some welcome different perspectives on getting more love, money, freedom, fulfillment and happiness. To recap, for more…
- …love, swap seeking love to identifying internal obstacles.
- …money, swap thought for action.
- …freedom, swap liberty, for psychological freedom.
- …fulfillment, trade goals for values.
- …happiness, swap pleasure for being emotionally healthy.