After crushing anxiety but now having to deal with the fallout mess it inflicted upon my life, I came across Napoleon Hill’s legendary “Think and Grow Rich” and BANG!!
My awakening had truly begun when Mr. Hill made me realise that my life, my destiny, my future was entirely in MY OWN HANDS.
No blame to place on anyone else.
Not the bat-shit crazy man who assaulted me.
Not the anxiety which sent my mind and body into shock-waves.
Not my age, race, lack of money.
That gave me an immense feeling of power that I’d never experienced before. The idea that anyone can achieve almost anything if they simply think in the correct manner, remains the best piece of advice I have ever read.
Understanding what thoughts are and the power they have, was crucial; who’d have thought it!! (see what I did there?).
But it’s not thinking alone that changes a life. You have to have a burning desire for change. You have to believe you can achieve it; have absolute faith that you will.
Then you must take ACTION. Put plans in place and activate those plans.
And when you hit a stumbling block?
You learn from it and come back stronger. You NEVER GIVE UP. Not till you’ve adjusted those plans so you get what you desire. This is what “Think and Grow Rich” taught me.
This spurred me into action.
I realised I was not thinking about my financial trading job in the right way, not putting enough work in, over and above what the average person does. Because if you want something incredible, you MUST make sacrifices. Sacrifices of time, maybe money but definitely energy.
Successful people don’t just “get lucky”. Behind every success is a story of hard work often born out of great adversity. Because adversity drives a person’s desire like nothing else.
Of course, it can also break a person. Send them to rock-bottom. I knew all about that, having been suicidal. But once you understand how to cope with adversity by THINKING in the right manner, you can overcome it much quicker.
I had become lazy with my trading. I’d stopped recording what I was doing, analysing my mistakes, learning from others. I was stagnating, just hoping things would go right for me rather than working hard on finding answers.
In terms of my freelance writing, I had a new zeal. Instead of pessimistic thinking such as
“I’m too old to get into that”
“It’s way too competitive”
“It’s too risky”
I started thinking
“How can I achieve this?”
“Where can I get help?”
I knew some people were successful at it. I just had to find out how they were doing it and then believe that I could emulate them.
THE CONVEYOR BELT OF MEDIOCRITY
I remember once having a conversation with my Mum. I was frustrated and pissed off being stuck in crappy low-paid office and call-centre jobs. I knew I had more to give.
I always felt deep somewhere in my soul (though I didn’t believe in a “soul” at the time!), that I was meant for something bigger and better. I just didn’t know what. And I couldn’t see how I could ever get there. Not with my anxious ways.
My Mum said;
“But no-one likes their job.”
Now, I know she was just trying to make me feel better but I still argued back;
“Yes, most people do seem to hate their job. But there are some who love it. I want to be one of them.”
I think it is partly a generational thing. My parents were brought up in a time where you got on the conveyor belt and never deviated from it. It only went one way; school, college, university (or job), 9-5 for 40 years, marriage, kids, mortgage, retirement.
Work was just that; work. It wasn’t meant to be enjoyed. It was just something you had to do to pay the bills. You got your head down, were grateful you had some security. If you were lucky and busted your balls enough, you might get a meagre promotion every few years.
You didn’t question why you had to work 8 hour days. You didn’t question why you only had two days free to enjoy life fully. You had a mortgage (i.e. lifetime of debt) to pay and kids to feed. It was your responsibility to keep things as they were.
You had no choice.
I never really understood why life had to be that way. But I didn’t see how I could possibly jump off that conveyor belt.
I honestly saw my life as already mapped out; dull, no-pressure office job, married before 30, chained down by fiscal responsibility and then the usual drift into old age, when I might be lucky enough to see the pyramids one year, if I wasn’t destitute on a state pension.
I was fortunate that I did have a brief taste of a different life, outside the conveyor belt.
I was a DJ and club promoter for a year, following my hypnotherapy which cured my anxiety the first time. It didn’t pay the bills in the end and I stopped to rejoin the rat-race. But I knew that I could’ve fought harder. I knew I should’ve kept reaching for my dreams. Instead I gave up because it was the “sensible” thing to do.
My awakening taught me that “sensible”, “low-risk” plans are not the way to a satisfying life. It opened up a whole new world of employment which I never knew existed. People who were rebelling against the status quo, going self-employed and doing what they love. Creating their own time, not being a slave to a boss or the 9-5.
Everything I’d been taught about work, why we have this conveyor belt system, why we work the stupid hours we do, why most people never get time to do the things that really matter in life, was all being questioned.
And that’s the key to awakening; QUESTION EVERYTHING!
Most of us never do this. We just get on the conveyor belt like my Mum’s generation and let it carry them through life, never stopping to ask “why?”.
Work was just the first part of my life that I began to question on a deep level. But it sure as hell wasn’t the last! What was to come after that, was the really staggering stuff. The answers to questions such as;
“What is our reality?”
“Who are we?”
“Is there a god?”
began to reveal themselves. The “spiritual” side of my awakening.
And it totally fucking blew my world wide apart!
More on this in part 3.