Since I started working for myself in the area of personal development in January 1996, I have come across many, many people who yearn for a better life, a more balanced life, people who want for more out of life. I've met lots of people who have bought all the books - purchased their atlas or roadmap, so to speak - but who are not prepared to take each step along the journey.
Of course, there are some that will tell you that you don't need to take the journey - if you're standing at "A", you simply visualize yourself at "Z" and you're there! People like Rhonda Byrne who put together the bestselling "The Secret" and now another bestseller that's running off the shelves "The Power". I say put together because these books are a mish-mash of concepts, half-baked ideas, quotes and, sometimes, misquotes - and the overall packaging of the concept - see yourself there and you're there - is just too tantalizing for vulnerable souls. And, at one time or another in our lives, we're all vulnerable souls.
Many years ago, when I worked in life assurance in Ireland, I used to travel the length and breadth of Ireland speaking at seminars. My mother used to say to me that, "when you travel to Cork (from Dublin) your wheels have to travel every single inch of the journey - it's a long road". And, in just the same way, if you're interested in getting more out of life, it is a journey - a long and winding road - probably without a destination.
And you have to travel each inch of the road. The road is made up of years, months, weeks, days, minutes and moments - including this moment. Your life is lived in moments - in heres and nows - and the only way that you can achieve a better life, a more balanced life, the only way that you can get all there really and truly is to get out of life is to turn up to each moment, to take each step, not to sit back and wait for something to happen but to make something happen by doing what you have to do to the very best of your ability.
And, believe it or not, that's a bridge too far for most people - they want something for nothing! But, in life, you get out what you put in, you reap what you sow, what goes around comes around. You've got to invest in yourself, in your life. And what galls me is that that investment process is so simple - it simply demands that we turn up, mind, body and soul, to each moment - one moment at a time - then you will find yourself moving effortlessly along that long and winding road.
I need, however, to explain what turning up actually means because it is a concept totally foreign to the normal muddled mind. The only place and time that you can be is here and now. Yet, we're hamstrung by mental hard-wiring that sees to it that our subconscious mind almost exclusively lives in the past, wallowing in what psychologists call our "stored knowledge" - what you and I call our baggage, the voices in our head or our conditioning. Whilst this side-show is going on, our conscious mind is constantly being distracted by irrelevant nonsense or, more damagingly, future negative thoughts - what you and I might call worry - or what I might describe as investing your energy in something that you don't want to happen (still trying to figure out the sense in that - I suspect there is none!). The result of all this is that we almost never turn up to the here and now - it's just the way we're built.
But success, happiness, peace of mind and all the wonderful things that people who read self improvement books yearn for can only be achieved by being present in the here and now and, n fact, are e only to be found in the here and now. If you're fully present, having presence, you become immensely effective and your presence rubs off on those around you. If you're fully present, you become more alert to the opportunities of the moment and, in addition, through your impressive presence, you encourage those around you to respond - in this way you actually begin to create new opportunities yourself. But, most importantly, if you're fully present, your mind no longer pays credence to your limiting self-beliefs - you're suddenly someone other than who you believed yourself to be - you're suddenly liberated from your thought to be the real, impressive, successful and happy you.
So, you actually can get from A to Z in one step - but it's a step that you have to keep taking - and it's a step that leads you on a wonderful journey - not one that leads you to some delusional land of milk and honey - but to the wonderful reality and joy of life lived in the present moment.
Copyright (c) 2010 Willie Horton
Willie Horton enables his clients live their dream - since he launched his acclaimed Personal Development Seminars in 1996. His clients include major corporations: Pfizer, Deloitte, Nestle, Wyeth, KPMG, G4S & Allergan. An Irishman, he lives in the French Alps and travels the world as a much sought after speaker and mentor. In 2008 he launched Gurdy.Net home to his Online Personal Development Seminars, Change Your Life & No More Stress.