Something of Benefit also Comes with its Problems
New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings. ~ Lao Tzu
Are you always looking to the next chapter of your life because you’re fed up with the one you’re living now? You wouldn’t be the only one since many people wait for things to improve because they are dissatisfied with the way things are. But how much of it is perception? Do things actually improve when life gets better? For example, those who win the lottery are worse off five to seven years later, according to statistics. Most of them squander their winnings and are in more debt than before they won the lottery. But how can this be? How can winning a large sum of money lead a person to be worse off than before? Financial experts believe they lack the financial skills to manage large sums of money and they spend frivolously because they are certain the money will not run out.
We may experience something similar if we believe getting what we want will make us happier. For instance, the two main problems people often face in coaching relate to finances and relationships. People are convinced when they have more money or a loving partner, their problems will vanish. Is this something you believe? I know I have. I wasn’t aware that getting what I want also means getting what I don’t want. What do I mean? There are two sides to a coin, meaning that something of benefit also comes with its problems. The key is to find balance and harmony in what we want and not over-complicate matters.
Therefore, attracting more money means having to give up something in order to earn it or learning to manage money more effectively. Similarly, having a fulfilling relationship has its downsides (which is favourable if you consider what you gain). That is, we must invest our time and energy to cultivate the relationship, otherwise our partner might not stay around for long. That is to say, when we are looking for a relationship, we are heavily invested in the process but we don’t realise how much time and energy is required to sustain it. This is a desirable quality because anything worth building requires two people to invest their time and energy to create a strong foundation. Some people are not aware of what it requires to maintain and build a relationship and so they stop contributing to it at some point. They divest their energy and the relationship falls apart. I once heard a relationship counsellor suggest that people stay parked in relationships which is why it eventually ends.
Be Invested in the Life You Have Now
Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end. ~ Seneca
If we wish for the next chapter of our life to arrive, we must be aware of the problems that go with it. If we are not ready for what life will bring, we will lose what we gain. That is why the title of this article reads: The Next Chapter Of Your Life Begins With The One You’re Living Now. What am I referring to? The life you’re living now is the one you created, whether consciously or unconsciously. You attracted the conditions and even though it may be full of challenges and setbacks, there may be a reason for it. So wishing away the pain and disappointment means wishing away the personal growth that accompanies it. Some might say: “Tony, why would I want to attract health problems and a lack of money?” I don’t know your particular situation but it is my experience people attract their life’s conditions on an unconscious level because they haven’t transformed their limiting beliefs with what they want. Does this make sense, insofar as your inner conflicts will make themselves visible in your reality until you reconcile them?
For example, if you unconsciously hold limiting beliefs of your unworthiness to attract a loving relationship, no matter how many dating sites you sign up to, you are bound to experience disappointment. I’m not suggesting everyone on dating sites will experience pain and heartache. There are many thousands of people who find a devoted partner every day because they are ready for it and have done the work to transform their limiting beliefs. Pain and disappointment can highlight areas of our life we must devote our attention to. It requires self-examination on why we are attracting those circumstances. For instance, a person with poor financial skills might attract unwanted financial conditions until they honour their self-worth. Perhaps they were brought up with a tough parent who criticised them. They may have adopted this belief which now shows up through their finances.
So what I’m trying to say is: until we recognise what is stopping us from attaining what we want, we will continue to attract undesirable conditions. We can change strategies and enlist the help of coaches, guides and mentors and some of it may work. However, if we are not committed to our personal growth, we will go back to our old ways eventually. It requires being invested in the life we have now. Your problems and challenges are the keys to your redemption. As the aphorism states: “The obstacle is the way.” It is showing the exit off the freeway so you may experience better living conditions. But the price you must pay is doing the work to remove any unconscious impediments that stand in your way. With this in mind, I’d like you to give some thought to areas of your life where you feel held back. Write in your journal or diary how you may be unconsciously sabotaging yourself. What is the trade-off? What do you get by living these unconscious beliefs? Perhaps you prefer to remain safe in your comfort zone? Every belief serves a purpose, even ones that limit our potential. Ultimately, if we are constantly expecting the next chapter of our life to arrive without living the one we have now, we will attract situations that are not for our highest good.