Beliefnet
Because This Is Your Life

Today I’ll be speaking about one of the most important things you’ll ever want to realize about you and your life’s journey.

In fact, this is something I’ve spoken about before and important enough to speak about again.

As most of us go through our lives we have a tendency to attribute the things that happen to us and others as “luck.”

This can be seen as so called “good luck” or so called “bad luck.”

Along with this, many people will claim that they or others are “lucky” while they may perceive themselves and possibly others as not being lucky.

So the question is…

“Are some people lucky and others are not?”

1. The 2 sided illusion of luck

I mentioned above that people will have a tendency to attribute things that happen as “good luck” or “bad luck.” This is actually a two sided illusion. Here is why…

I’ve mentioned a number of times in the past about the following quote from the Roman philosopher Seneca…

“Luck is preparation meeting opportunity.”

What this means is that the preparation you put into doing something, which includes
time and effort, is what determines your so called “luck.” Therefore “luck”, whether perceived as “good” or “bad” is not a random coincidence, nor an “accident.” What most people attribute to being “lucky” actually happens by designed, and yes you can control it.

The other part of this two sided illusion are the labels of “good” and “bad.” These labels are nothing more than one’s perception of a situation, idea, or person. What may be perceived as “bad” in one situation by one person, may be seen as “good” by someone else. This also applies to labeling people as well.

Anytime something is attributed to luck, whether “good” or “bad”, this implies that there is some sort of a mistake in the Universe, that things are out of line and not “perfect.”

The fact is that we live in a Universe (world) that is two sided, where there is an equal amount of both positive and negative, ease and difficulty, peace and war, and so on….this is the perfection I mentioned before.

This has always been the case, still is the case, and will always be the case. Trying to so called “change” the world to be one sided is a fantasy that is futile.

It is important to be aware of this because having this insight is very healthy and needed in order for you to live the type of life you want.

2. There are no mistakes

Whenever we see things occurring because of “good luck” or “bad luck” it subtlety implies that some sort of mistake has happened. It may seem like “good” or “bad” luck on the surface, but the fact is that there are no coincidences or mistakes in the Universe.

How can you tell?

When you really take the time and trace it all out while connecting the dots, you’ll see that everything occurs by design.

Now of course there will be certain situations that happened, and this can be in various areas throughout the world, where things seem as though others have “bad luck” and are less fortunate. When you take a closer look at those situations, you’ll see the other half of that, the positive and the “good.”

The only way that someone can see something as a mistake is if they had a fantasy of how, whatever it was that they see as a mistake, was “supposed” to have a one sided outcome, in this case a positive only outcome…and this of course will be based on one’s values or the things most important to them in that moment.

There are no mistakes or luck in the Universe, but rather there are blessings.

3. Living a life of blessings

Rather than saying that you’re lucky in any way, it is much wiser to substitute that by saying, “I am blessed.” Why? Simply put, because you are blessed. The other reason is because whatever it is that you achieve is not some random thing or luck. It is because you are blessed and deserve it.

Now what if you have various things going on in your life that you may not see as going your way? Perhaps you may view your life currently and/or in the past as not being lucky.

Just know that in every stressing there is a blessing. In every perceived crisis there is a hidden blessing. The way you can know this is true is to take the time to really look very closely. When you do, you’ll find it along with the synchronicity that’s involved.

You were not put in this world to be “lucky.” This again suggests that something you did or didn’t do is out of order.

Acknowledge the fact that you are blessed and the wonderful person that you are.

It doesn’t matter what others say or have said about you.

It doesn’t matter what others did or didn’t do to you.

It doesn’t even matter what has happened or didn’t happen to you.

What matters most is that you know who you truly are, and that is an amazing person with so much to offer the world.

Other people don’t dictate your destiny…you do.

While it is very wise and beneficial to all to help others, it is also important that others helps you as well.

No matter where you’re at currently in your life, you can certainly turn it all around in your favor…

And just know that this starts by realizing that you are blessed, and here to do amazing things in the world by demonstrating the magnificence and brilliance of who you are.

When you walk into an Italian restaurant and see a man making pizzas…what thoughts are going through your mind?

“Make me a good pizza.”

“He’s Italian.”

“He’s just a worker here.”

Or perhaps…

“What does he know…he only works in an Italian restaurant.”

I used to think this way too…

Until I started working in these restaurants right out of high school and then while going to college.

And it was in one of these Italian restaurants…while living in Coral Springs Florida back in 1989…that I heard arguably the most profound words of wisdom from anyone in my life.

My then “boss” said to me one day, “it’s nice to be nice…but it’s not nice to be too nice.”

I immediate “got it.”

What I didn’t immediately “get” was how this could apply in other ways throughout a person’s life.

So life for me went on.

However his words of wisdom has always—to this day—stuck with me.

And then while going through my typical daily “brainstorming session” a few years ago…I realized how this pizza man’s “little quote” can and does make a difference in every human being’s life…

Except in this case it has to do with “feeling good.”

And with this came a revelation…and a question:

“It’s good to feel good…but is it not good to feel “too good?”

This also brought to mind the thought:

“Is feeling good dangerous?”

1. Dr. Feelgood

What happens when you go to the doctor? It usually has to do with relieving yourself from some type of physical—possibly even psychological and emotional—pain.

And how is this usually done?

By being prescribed some type of pharmaceutical drug…it can even be an over the counter remedy.

Now why would you want to do this?

Because obviously you want to feel better…you want to feel good.

And certainly this is important…to you…to me…to just about everyone.

However…

There are times when this is not a good thing to do…because it can and frequently does result in getting “hooked” on the pharmaceutical drug or remedy…that is designed to help.

And we all know what happens as a result of this.

As a matter of fact…

This is also true when it comes to “feeling good”…especially always trying to feel good.

Now whether this “feeling good high” comes from trying to live in sustainable states of happiness, joy, or bliss…the same is true.

And this goes back to the pizza man inspired quote I mentioned earlier which now goes like this…

“It’s good to feel good…but it’s not good to feel too good.”

With this being obvious there’s still a majority of the people who will ignore it.

Why?

2. The Fantasy Network

When a doctor prescribes some type of drug that makes you feel better—even when you know the risks involved—you’ll have a high probability of listening to him (or her) anyway.

The reason…

Because he (or she) is a perceived authority figure.

And even if your health got worse from the drug he/she prescribed to you, most likely you wouldn’t hold him/her responsible…you’d most likely blame yourself in some way.

What’s even stranger than this?

You’d have a high probability of “going back for more” of that drug…or possibly another…which makes you “feel good.”

And within here lies why most people will ignore the pizza man inspired wisdom of…

“It’s good to feel good…but it’s not good to feel too good.”

And this is certainly right at the center of the personal development and self help gurus that are promoting the idea of always feeling good.

Except here the questions is…

“Are they living that way?”

Is the person who’s promoting that you can live a “happy”, “joyful”, and “blissful” life… are they actually living that way?

Or…

Are they just “selling these temporary feel good drugs” because they know these fantasies sell?

Now of course I’m not saying to not feel good…because it is important…and certainly healthy.

What I am saying is…

If you get into the habit of trying to feel “too good”…or trying to “feel good” all the time…it can and does lead to “addiction” in very much the same way as the typical addictions…drugs, sex, food…it will have you coming back for more.

Except in the case of “feeling good”…it will involve trying to live a happy, joyful, blissful life.

Look in your own life.

Have you been able to live in a state of happiness, joy, and bliss all the time…of course not.

Yet…

These fantasies are being sold to people all the time.

And why does it work so well?

Because humans in general are fantasy driven…meaning that they try to seek the one sidedness of “feeling good”…in the form of trying to live happy, joyful, and blissful lives.

And when you take a look in your own life you’ll see this to be unrealistic…even though the person “selling it” appears to be living this unrealistic life.

The bottom line is…

You have two sides to your nature…the positive and negative…they both serve you and humanity…and in line with the divine perfection of how the Universe works on your behalf.

This now leads to your actual purpose…

3. Falling in… or feeling…love

Feeling good, like everything else in the Universe is two sided. In other words, feeling good at times can be a “positive” force in your life…at times a “negative.” Together they make up your purpose in life… Love.

And when I speak of love, it’s not in the romantic sense…

It’s being able to see both sides of life as being purposeful.

This is why there’s no such thing as “falling in love.”

Instead…

You can only “feel love.”

And feeling love is…you guessed it…seeing life in a two sided way…knowing that every person and situation has an equal amount of happiness and sadness, joy and sorrow, positive and negative.

It may not seem that way in your perception…but in truth it’s balanced equally.

And this goes back to “feeling good”…except here it’s doing so while maintaining a “healthy balance” along the way.

And one of the best ways to get started—like I mentioned a moment ago— is to know that you’re a two sided person living in a two sided world. You have moments of happy and sad, joy and sorrow, peace and war…and this is healthy.

While maintaining this”healthy balance” of feeling good…you won’t get too “up” when things go your way…you won’t get too “down” when things don’t go your way.

Certainly…

You’ll have moments when you may feel better than others…just like you’ll have moments when you’ll feel “worse” than others.

However…

By maintaining this “healthy balance” of feeling good you won’t get caught up in the roller coaster of emotions that leads you to coming back for more of the “feel good drug” so to speak.

Remember…

When you realize how the very thing you’re trying to get away from (sadness, sorrow, and challenge)…how these serve your life…you won’t get caught up in the “feel good” mania that is actually the source of most people’s suffering.

The result…

You’ll have a newfound insight into the magnificence and brilliance of who you are…

Even those things you felt you never had within you.

They’re there.

It’s always been there.

And it’s there for you to demonstrate the tremendous amount of value you contribute to the world through the uniqueness of who you are.

Is this possible in today’s society?

Think about it.

How many people do you know—personally or know of (outside of young children)—that doesn’t have any tattoos…doesn’t drink, smoke, or do drugs?

Not only that…

Do you know, or have ever known someone, that has never got drunk or “high” from drugs…never even took a sip of coffee…not even once?

And never mind about today’s society.

How about at any point in time?

Now just to add a little more to this…

Is there anyone you know of that fits the above description who would hang out at heavy metal concerts?

After all, if you’ve ever gone to any of those concerts, or been around that type of crowd, tattoos, drinking, and doing drugs is quite often commonplace.

If you don’t know anyone like this, you would think if this type of person existed, that they’d probably be some geeky nerd with glasses…or at least that’s what they were called when I was growing up.

I know of only one person who fits this description…and this person is not some geeky nerd with glasses…although sometimes he is.

That person is me…and I do wear reading glasses.

As for being the geeky nerd…well that comes out in times of need as well.
Now there’s a good reason why I’m bringing this up…

Because it has to do with you and begins by asking the question:
Is this who you really are?

1. A world of make belief

Funny as this may seem, the question, “is this who you really are”, is answered by asking…”who are you?” Now I know that answering a question with another question is quite often not a wise thing to do. Yet in this case it’s different.

So, “who are you?”

Answering this little 3 word question does make all the difference in your life.

Why?

Because it gets you to take a deeper look at yourself…and not just in the typical ways you’ve heard from everyone else.

While answering this think about, “what do you stand for”, “what are you against”, “how do you want people to remember you”, and “what do you believe in?”

And then there’s this…

Being true to yourself.

So many times you’ll see people making up things just to impress others.
Whether that’s being done in their personal lives or in their businesses in the form of their “story”, the fact is that it’s common place…which is ok.

However it’s when things are falsely made up that’s not ok.

And quite often it will be make believe.

An example of this is when you see people promoting the idea of living happy and positive lives. That’s make believe.

Why?

Because no human being lives a one sided happy and positive life. You have both sides to your nature. You’re happy and sad, nice and mean. You’ll have moments of ease and difficulty, pleasure and pain.

That’s real. That’s you being your authentic self. It’s part of who you are.

And it also has you living in a world of make belief, instead of living in the fantasy world of make believe.

Now before we come back and answer, “is this who you really are”, here’s something else to keep in mind…

2. Angels and devils

How many times have you been in situations where you were tempted to go against what you believe in because everyone else in the crowd was “doing it?” And how did you handle these situations? Did you “cave in” and did it anyway? Or did you stand your ground and say “no?”

Regardless of what decision you made, what went in to making that decision?

Did you have that little white angel on your shoulder telling you to do the “right thing” and not do it…while at the same time having that red devil holding the pitchfork and standing on your other shoulder telling you to not be a “wimp” and just do it anyway?

I can certainly relate to this.

After all, having never once tried cigarettes, drugs or getting drunk, that little angel and devil surfaced many times…right?

“Yes” and “No.”

Maybe my mother and her smoking along with her “you better not smoke or do drugs or else” statements had something to do with it. Who knows.

Yet whatever it was I just never had an interest and never “caved in” despite the peer pressure.

And the same thing with tattoos.

Now of course I don’t have anything against people who drink, smoke, does drugs, and has tattoos. It’s their life and their choice.

In fact, I’ve had friends (and even family members) who have.

What I find interesting in it is, how many of these people were tempted to the point of caving in and doing it just because the crowd was doing it?

How many of these people were being their true selves at the moment they decided to “try it” because they were following what everyone else was doing?

Any time you’ve been in a situation like this in any way, did you make your decision based on who you truly are?

Or did you make that decision just to please others…while worrying that people would ridicule you if you didn’t follow what they were doing?

Always remember this…

No matter what decision you make you’ll get people supporting and challenging you…liking and disliking you…praising and criticizing you…equally.

Along with this you’ll have people laughing at you, saying you’re crazy, and thinking you’re out of your mind…

While at the same time you’ll have people taking you seriously, saying you completely make sense, and thinking you’re totally rational.

What’s important for you is that you be true to who you really are.

And to use that so you can help and serve other people in their lives.

3. Risen Star

It’s obvious that there are both followers and leaders in the world. And both certainly serve a purpose. Just like in order for the world to exist it needs both war and peace, the same is true with followers and leaders…you need both.

Not only that…

Even in your own life they’ll be moments when you are a follower and other moments when you are the leader.

They’ll be moments when you “lay back” and be the quiet one…and then they’ll be moments when you’re the Risen Star.

And looking back on my life up to this point this has certainly been the case.

During all those “peer pressure moments” I was the quiet one who just sat in the background…

Then there were the moments when the Risen Star in me would surface.

And what’s really funny is that the closest I even got to getting drunk was during a non peer pressure moment.

It happened the last year year before I graduated from Rutgers University in New Jersey. After the final exams our instructor took us out to a local bar and paid for all the drinks.

Being that I don’t drink I had two virgin strawberry daiquiris…or so I thought they had no alcohol in them. Before I even got through the second one I started to feel light headed..and then realized that they put alcohol in there.

Why am I bringing this up?

Because when it comes to you and your life, not only does it come down to the choices you make…

It also involves those choices having both sides as outcomes…the positives and negatives.

And this leads back to the original question:

“Is this who you really are?”

Part of being your true self includes having that “weirdness” factor.

Whether that includes never once trying cigarettes, drugs, coffee, and not having tattoos…

Or whatever that uniqueness is about you, just know that is part of what makes up the magnificence and brilliance of who you are.

It’s what makes you a Risen Star.

And you being able to take that out into the world while helping others be their own Risen Star is a big part of your contribution to the world.

So as you go through your life and answer this question be sure to “pat yourself on the back” and take a moment to appreciate yourself for who you are…

Because you do make a big difference in the world.

Sometimes it’s one of the easiest things to say, but difficult to do.

And then other times it’s very easy to think about, but difficult to follow through on.

As easy as it does seem at times, it can be hard to find just the right words to say in the right moment.

But no matter how you look at it, you’ll realize how valuable it is for you.

What I’m talking about is showing your appreciation. And this includes showing appreciation for yourself, other people, situations you’re in throughout your life, and everything else in between.

So what makes showing your appreciation sometimes easy to say and difficult to do?

What makes it sometimes easy to think about but difficult to follow through on?

How come it seems like sometimes you just can’t find the right words to say at the right time?

Or does all of this just seem that way and not the case to begin with?

No matter how you look at it, the all important question still remains…

What does it mean to appreciate your life?

…And the answers you come up with dictates how your life plays out.

1. Checks and balances

During your life you’re given what I like to call “tests.” This is also known as the challenging moments you face in your life. And no matter how much you want things to always go your way, and no matter how much you want other people to always support you, the fact is that these “tests” of life are necessary and unavoidable.

And the reason is because it’s yet another way of learning how to appreciate your life.

Now you may be thinking, “Well how can something that I didn’t want to happen in my life help me appreciate my life?”

Let me share a personal example with you.

As many of you know I have a fitness background. And this led me many years back to getting involved with someone who had an existing training studio in California. This person asked me to be his partner and so I drove out to California, gave this person $30,000, and after 2 weeks had a funny feeling and backed out.

I never got the money back. I ended up moving back to New Jersey. And when this was all said and done—the legal fees, driving across the country and back, moving costs, and living expenses— it ended up costing me over $50,000.

On the surface it looks like a situation most people would regret and wished they could do over.

If I had that mindset it would be running my life. Not only that but I wouldn’t be doing what I love today. I wouldn’t have met all the wonderful people I have as a result.

The most important thing that came out of this was and continues to be a greater appreciation for my life…

Because I experienced both sides of life in the process. The pain and pleasure.

The giving and taking. The nice and mean. The happy and sad.

This in turn has helped me learn how to make “big” decisions in so called “pressure” type situations.

And this was yet another step involved in living a fulfilled life.

When you take a look at your life, it is wise to check and look for the balance in those negative moments by looking to see how it benefited you…

As well as to check and look for the balance in those positive moments by looking to see how they were a drawback to you in your life.

By doing so, you’ll be more fulfilled and have a greater appreciation for your life.

2. Midlife blessings

I’m sure you’ve heard about people having a mid life crisis. Whatever that means to you, the fact is that people have this “midlife crisis” for various reasons. It can range from getting older to their children growing up to their own physical health…it can be anything. It depends on the person.

Now since you can’t have a crisis without a blessing, then of course you can’t have a midlife crisis without having a midlife blessing.

So if you feel that you’re having a midlife crisis, what is your midlife blessing?

Better yet, what are your entire life’s blessings?

And if you’re not sure of what they are, start looking for any crisis in your life. Look through your entire life right up to the current moment and for each crisis look for the blessing…

Because when you do, you’ll discover yet another way of how to appreciate your life.

Here’s something else very important to be aware of…

Many times you’ll have the tendency to want to change places with someone else that you feel is getting a better deal or has a better situation in life. Let’s use age as an example.

If you find yourself having that midlife crisis (which again isn’t a bad thing at all) because you feel you’re getting older, the tendency will be to say, “God I wish I was young again.” In the process of doing so you may wish you were in your early 20’s like your friend’s daughter for example.

Think about this for a moment.

What would happen if you could change places with that person and be “young” again. It may look like the thing to do on the surface but would you really want to do that? Is there something perhaps you felt you didn’t do back when you were younger? Are there any regrets?

While the thought of it can be tempting, it is wise to appreciate the time you had during those experiences.

And just as important, appreciate what is currently going on in your life.

Because whether you’re talking about now or back then, there were just as many benefits as there were drawbacks. They may have changed over time in how they look but they’re still there.

As for the age issue…

I like to say that you can’t get old without getting young. You get older in wisdom and younger in vitality.

This is yet another reason to appreciate your life.

3.  Appreciate it forward

You’ll hear many people speak about appreciation and appreciating your life. But do they know exactly what that means? What does that mean? As far as you’re concerned, “What does it mean to appreciate your life?”

No matter how you look at it and whatever it means to you, what you appreciate appreciates.

And this involves those “little big” things in life. The often unseen acts that plants the seeds for those results you do see with your eyes.

This includes:

Taking those extra few seconds when you have a bunch of things on your mind to help someone else out…

To hold the door open for someone at the store…

To give them the right of way when you’re driving…

Being patient with someone who may not be in the same situation you’re in…

Truly listening with a caring ear to someone that is going through a very challenging time…

Giving more of your time for a cause that’s important to you…

And the list goes on and on.

Whatever those “little big” things are, they are yet another way of appreciating it forward…

Because whatever you appreciate appreciates. Some people call it good karma. I personally don’t believe in karma because when you’re truly grateful, thankful, and appreciate yourself for who you are and for all the people and situations you’ve come across in your life…

And you’re able to see both sides—the so called “positives’ and “negatives”—of each person and situation equally, good karma and bad karma doesn’t exist.

What does exist is the appreciation of both sides of who you are and what you’ve experienced in your life.

As a result you uncover the magnificence and brilliance of who you are…that’s been there all along throughout your amazing journey in life.