Money & Happiness Over Service And Creation Leads To No Money & No Happiness

It’s like all the money and savings experts say about how to actually save money, “Pay yourself first.”

If you don’t make the conscious, deliberate commitment to produce before you consume, you’ll be sucked into the current, and you won’t come out alive.

 

Money is important, it’s just not the most important thing. When we put money first, before virtues, it will never last. Whatever strategy where money comes before virtues, it may last for a while, but not for the long term.

When we put happiness first, before virtues, the happiness will not last either. Happiness, like money, is a by-product of the path, not the path itself. Money and happiness can indicate how we’re doing, but they’re not the path itself.

First virtues, then the by-products of those virtues. That’s the only way to sustain being ALIVE.

Life is short, and we’re all going to die, so why not go for every virtuous thing we want? Either way, we’re already dead.

So go for all of it. Don’t buy your own excuses. Learn how to sustain your passion and your joy. Cut out the bullshit and incorporate the good shit. Run toward your fear, and if you can’t run, then walk; if you can’t walk then crawl, and if you can’t crawl toward your fear, then at least be willing to look in its direction.

Drop those things that drain you and adopt those which fuel you.

It’s a rather simple equation, but it’s virtually impossible unless we have help from people who will hold us accountable and challenge us to see more and to be just a little truer than our current self-concepts would have us believe we are.

The comfort strategy will work for a while, until it doesn’t anymore.

The comfort strategy will work just great until you wake up one day with a crisis. Maybe your adrenals are burned out and you’ve only got 1 hour of energy a day, and, apparently, it’s time to either die or to change, to adopt new strategies and to shed the old ways that just aren’t working anymore.

It’s not always pleasant to die to the old. People often say that the truth will set you free, but what they often don’t say is that it might hurt when the chains come off.

People think fear is the enemy, but it’s not. Our avoidance and resistance to fear is the enemy.

Death is great. The natural fear of death we all have is great.

Why? Because the fear of death is so great for human beings that it will sometimes outweigh even our complacency to stay whom we’ve been. And in that case, there might be room for transformation.

Transformation can happen when we feel enough pain to consider that maybe we don’t know everything. We become so uncomfortable that we consider trying something new. We get so fucking desperate that we’ll turn off the TV, open a book, take a course, get a coach, anything to feel some relief.

There’s a thin, fuzzy line between courage and desperation.

And that’s ok. Whatever it takes to help us move. To motivate us. Pain can be quite the motivator.

As long as we’re no longer stagnating, rotting, festering in our old, warm, moldy putrid stories that used to lend us so much comfort.

Me? I want everything. I want it all. I want to be infinitely powerful. I want to experience myself as the universe, as the One and All, as everything and as nothing. As God.

And maybe that’s what we’re doing here on this tiny little speck in the Milky Way. It what we’re doing here on this one small planet, on one rather ordinary solar system in a relatively ordinary galaxy containing 500 billion other solar systems in a rather ordinary universe of 2 trillion galaxies, each with around 100 billion stars.

Compassion is in order.

The answers are in the questions, the movements, the stories, the searching, the experience, the stillness, the observation, the humility to admit conviction, uncertainty and desire.

The answers are in the experience and creation, and even in the destruction.

So go create something. Or, fuck it, go destroy something. Either way, it feels nice.

Love,

Aaron

P.S. For a limited time, I’m offering special discounted life coaching. E-mail me at aaron@reallifeconnectioncoach.com if you’re interested in some deep, powerful, intuitive and life-changing coaching. If it seems like we might be a good fit (based on your e-mail to me), I’ll block off a complimentary 1-2 hours for you. It will be great fun for me, and potentially life-changing for you. If it feels right, at the end of the call I’ll make my offer.

You Make The Rules For What To Feel

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You know the feeling when you win a good game of beer pong? It’s a good feeling! Isn’t it interesting how your brain literally concocts the exact chemicals to make you feel good after you win.

What’s going on here is that you have set the rules for how you feel. You have told your brain before beginning the game: If I win, give me feel-good chemicals. If I lose, give me feel-bad chemicals.

You make the rules. I repeat, YOU MAKE THE RULES.

What are your rules for feeling happiness, gratitude and self-esteem in other areas of your life? If you haven’t mapped them out consciously, rest assured that they have been mapped out by your non-conscious mind. And they might not be rules you would have consciously chosen.

Finish this sentence stem: In order for me to feel happy–

For a lot of us, here’s an example of what an everyday rule might look like: In order for me to feel happy, I must be financially sound.

But is that really the best rule to make? Does that rule work? Or is there a BETTER rule I can change this to?

A bit counter-intuitively, recent studies confirm that success is a result of being happy, not the other way around.

So if we’re waiting to be happy until we have success, we’re probably setting ourselves up for grave disappointment.

Let’s try to change some of our rules, whether conscious or un-conscious, that might be holding us back.

How about this rule that I’m guilty of so often: I’ll love myself when__________. Yikes! That sounds like a dangerous rule for existence.

Evaluate your criteria for feeling the emotions you want to feel. The supercomputer between your ears is waiting to give you everything you want, as soon as you give it permission to.

Love,

Aaron

There Is No Finish Line!

You’re going to have to exercise for the rest of your life.

To eat right, to sleep right, to work hard, to struggle in learning, to read books, to resolve conflicts in relationships, to manage your money properly, to meditate, to breathe…

To take on even bigger challenges and risks.

You. Will. Never. Be. Done.

So are you doing what fuels you? Do you even know what it is that fuels you? That gives you more passion, more peace and freedom, deeper connections?

Do you know what drains you?

When you keep this list written down somewhere, you’re identity has a chance to flourish.

Life is too fucking hard not to know what you want and be moving toward it.

If you feel like you’re barely treading water (in life), chances are you’re just not as clear as you need to be on your values and what fuels vs drains you.

A lot of this could even be the food you’re putting (or not putting) in your body. For me, gluten makes me tired and irritable as hell. So does refined sugar and alcohol. I’m still going to be alive for the next few days after those decisions, and dealing with the consequences is not even worth it for me anymore.

I’d rather have my energy.

So, if there is no finish line, if we’ll never be done in life, what is it that keeps us moving forward making these difficult decisions every day and taking the  short-term pain upfront?

Avoiding long-term pain can be one powerful reason, but who wants to live a life only for that? Not me.

Even after getting great results for a while, like making more money than ever before or hooking up with a hotter girl than ever before or having threesomes or whatever, eventually the newness fades from that and we’re once again left alone.

You’ve got to have something bigger than yourself that you’re living for. You’ve got to be giving back in a special way that energizes you. That’s the key. That’s something worth growing for.

If you want contentment, fulfillment, serenity, happiness, you’ve got to be giving back to your fellow earth dwellers. That’s where the fulfillment ultimately lies. I’m not necessarily talking about charity, by the way. If charity fires you up, then do it, but usually that’s not what energizes me the most. I’m talking about offering real value paid or unpaid, but something that is real and helps somebody you love.

I think one of life’s most important questions is: Who do I want to help? Whose life can I make a little bit better today?

When you’re focused on what you can do for others, you don’t really want there to be a finish line.

In fact, helping others may be the most selfish thing you can do. It feels fucking awesome.

Money & Happiness (Part 1)

The purpose of this article is to clearly define money and happiness in the way that most successful people understand them. I will demonstrate how they are the same and how they are different. But beware, you may have never thought about money and happiness in this way before.

Studies consistently show that low income levels are correlated to high stress levels, but does more money really make you happier?

Too much stress can be a killer. The long-term health effects of stress not handled properly are devastating.

The cool part is that it is true: getting out of that low-income zone makes life less stressful, and improves your life and general sense of well-being.

However, after a certain point of attained affluence, after your basic needs are met and you’re not freaking out every day about where you food and shelter are going to come from tomorrow, studies do show that more money does not necessarily make you more happy.

Personally, I love money. I don’t believe the bullshit that the love of money is the root of all evil. I’m not sure what the root of all evil is, but I’m convinced that money itself is not it. Here’s why:

Money is the result of one person doing something nice for someone else. Money is the certificate saying that John raked Joe’s yard, and it represents the energy that was put in to the work.

Money is energy, once removed. It represents energy. It represents influence and value. John can now trade this certificate of energy with his other neighbor Sally, who makes the tastiest apple pies you’ve ever put in your mouth. John would rather have the apple pie, and Sally would rather have the money, because she wants to trade these certificates (saying she’s done something nice for someone else) for a new red party dress.

More money creates more abundance. When John rakes Joe’s yard, not only does it free up Joe to spend time doing something nice for someone else, something that Joe himself is really good at, but his yard looks nicer, he’s happier, and John is happier, too, because he spent his time in his craft being creative, productive and exercising his mental abilities. Essentially, people are trading their expertise of the expertise of others.

Everybody is doing things they like to do, providing value for everyone else, and abundance is flourishing. People who provide value to others are rewarded for their efforts, people who do not provide value to others are not rewarded. Virtue is rewarded, vice is not. This is what money does when it is traded freely and not corrupted through the use of force. It is awesome.

I’ve never worked for a poor man before. My employers and/or business owners I’ve contracted with have always had plenty of money from the value that they created for others. Because of their situation of having plenty of money, they were willing and able to bring me in to create even more value for their customers, which, of course, results in more money.

The value that you create for others is generally going to be proportionate to the money that you get in return.

Happiness is a lot like money. It’s the result of actions and effort. High levels of happiness, just like high amounts of money, are rarely an accident. Deep fulfillment is usually the result of much effort, mental and physical.

If you just sit around all day or lie on the sofa all day, your body will rot and you will be unhappy. You must get up and move around. For sustained, long-term health, you must exert yourself physically often and consistently. You must balance your nutrition and avoid products that harm you like chemicals, pesticides, artificial sweeteners, etc.

If you aren’t providing value to the people around you, not only will you be broke, but soon you will have no friends (read: lower happiness). People generally flock towards value and flee from neediness. Maybe someone will see your need and try to fill it, however, they will be expecting value in return for that. People want a return on their investment, and if they know they can get a better return somewhere else, they will go there.

There are many forms of value. Maybe you are broke, but you are hilarious and fun and relaxing to hang out with. You will probably still have friends because they enjoy (read: get value from) hearing your jokes and rejuvenating themselves around your calming energy.

Happiness or peace or fulfillment or whatever you want to call that good feeling inside is what happens when you do things that fuel you. Happiness is success. Your version of what makes you successful is different from my version. I like to write blog posts, for example, maybe you like to watch football. And, of course, there are many other things we could name that make us happy.

Again, value can come in many forms.

The point of this first article in this series is incredibly important to understand: Money and Happiness are similar because they are both RESULTS. They are not gained directly, but are secondary products of specific actions. They are both values which are generally measurable in proportion to the value those actions provide.

The biggest difference between money and happiness is this:

Money is an exchangeable value and is NOT an end unto itself. Money REPRESENTS value. Happiness is not exchangeable, and it IS an end unto itself. Happiness is itself valuable.

Gratitude

If you’re not doing a daily gratitude practice, where the fuck have you been!?

Aside from the fact that every religion extols the virtues of gratitude, recent studies have shown that a daily gratitude practice even for just 5 minutes can increase your happiness levels 25%.

If you’re eating healthy, working out, associating with positive people who challenge you, getting out of your comfort zone and a million other things all the time, but NOT doing this, you’re missing out!

It’s super simple.

Take 5 minutes and out-loud say what you’re grateful for. I like to mention something from each of the four categories of People, Opportunities, Experiences, and Things (POET). I’m not sure where that’s from, but it’s what I’ve been using for a while.

Or do it with a friend! That’s even better. It’s almost like an instant mood change, and it’s fun.

Remember that getting where you want to go takes energy, and you’re either moving forward or backwards, all the time.

This is one thing that can keep moving you forward.

So on that note, I’m grateful for this awesome platform, my blog here and the internet, as an opportunity to share positivity and inspiration.

What are you grateful for?

The Treasure Trail of Life

You want happiness, health and peace. You want awesome, juicy relationships. You want wisdom. You want power and influence. You want $MONEY$.

So at some point, you put two and two together and realize that there are some basic equations in life in order to enjoy more of these things.

It takes ENERGY to manifest these.

The more energy you put in, the more you get back. But you gotta keep putting that energy in because it doesn’t always come back how you’d expect!

Yesterday I spent 8 or so hours messing around with one of my websites. I couldn’t get in touch with my website developer for the information I needed, so, resorting to Google, I read through tens of articles, blogs, forums and help-sections of different websites, looking for answers to solve my problem. (Raise your hand if you’ve been there ;p).

From one website I’d learn a little something that would make me search for something else. Then from that clue, I’d start reading up on another idea. Maybe that idea would get me closer, maybe not, but eventually, after hours of investment, I got exactly what I was looking for! The successful feeling was fabulous, as you can probably imagine. And now, I’m ready to start looking for my next clue, haha.

It got me thinking: if you take a little snippet of your life, maybe, for positivity’s sake, a day where you feel pride and accomplishment from your activities, observe that it COULD be a metaphor for your life.

Your life will be like a treasure trail. You’ll be constantly going from one clue to the next in an exciting journey of frustration and triumph over and over again. It’s exciting because there’s always more, there’s always another story, always another opportunity to experience bliss.

And as your consciousness increases, and as you begin vibrating at a higher frequency on this upward spiral of growth and acceptance, of integrity and love, every day, even more, you embrace the treasure trail for what it is: the most goddamn incredible gift ever.