People who become trapped in the lifelong process of bill-paying are like gerbils running inside the wheels. Their legs move furiously, their wheels spin on and on, and in the end, they’re in the same place they started—nowhere. They keep working and working and their incomes go up, but then so do their taxes and the charges on their credit cards. Buying a home and a car, going on vacations, paying for the children’s education, saving for retirement—these successive challenges prevent the bill-payers, no matter how well educated they may be, from ever getting ahead.
Sometimes when people get into these cycles they neglect the most important thing: themselves.
A few years ago, I went through a rough patch. I was depressed and there was no logical reason for it—I had a great marriage, a great company, great people to work with.
I had it all … except for happiness.
I didn’t feel the spark to make more money because I had enough and still was depressed.
I wasn’t motivated to go to the gym.
I Just Felt Stuck
What I discovered was that I had to rethink how I approached happiness, and I had to focus on personal development.
Somewhere along the way, personal development for me had become neglected, and I was reaping the consequences. I had to admit that I needed to change. And anyone else going through a similar situation must do the same. Whether it’s making money, losing weight, becoming a better person—whatever your goal—it’s not enough to just wish that you could change your life. You have to be brave enough to actually do it.
My wife, Kim, and I have a saying we like to repeat: For things to change, first I must change. Author and motivational speaker Jim Rohn says, “Your level of success will seldom exceed your level of personal development.”
Clear Your Mind
My cardiologist has been nudging me for years to meditate, reminding me that doctors and medicine are fake health… and that inner spirituality is real health.
He ﬁnally got it through my thick head that I was sacriﬁcing my health and happiness for wealth. Until he nudged me to “wake up,” meditate, read spiritual books (not just ﬁnancial books), and practice yoga, as well as go to the gym, I was nothing but a little dog trying to become a bigger dog.
I was unaware that I was destroying my future health, wealth, and happiness as I roared off to work every day.
What I found out is that how you start the day changes the quality of the entire day. Some people argue that how you start the morning is the biggest, most important thing you can do to change your life.
This is why I begin my day with these crucial practices:
- I read Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod
- I meditate with Holosync (meditations from The Holosync Solution by Bill Harris)
- I engage in light wake-up exercises (about 10 minutes)
- And I read spiritual books such as Awareness, Stillness, Rules for a Knight, Happiness Advantage, Second Opinion, Untethered Soul, Tribal Leadership, and others, a few minutes, first thing every morning
I begin my morning with those four simple steps—BEFORE I even start my to-do list for the day.
Of these four things, learning to meditate was by far the most difficult.
We Live In A World of Noise
Sometimes it’s audible, and other times — a lot of the time — it’s the “noise” of constantly checking our phones and the news. I’ve learned that you’ve got to give your mind times of calm and silence. You’ve got to shut out the world for a little while and let your brain rest and recover.
Meditation lets you do this.
Holosync is a sophisticated form of neuro-audio technology that allows the listener to easily enter various desirable states, and create many desirable mental, emotional, and spiritual changes, through entrainment of electrical patterns in the brain. Essentially, this creates a synchronization, or balance, between brain hemispheres, enhancing mental/emotional health and mental functioning. The initial draw for us was that it can help a listener quickly enter and benefit from states of deep meditation.
Meditation Does Not Come Naturally To Me
I immediately want to start fidgeting as I begin my meditation time each morning. But I’ve learned to tune myself out. Because when I tune me out, things happen. Part of meditation is training your mind to do this. It really is as much about training your mind as exercise is about training your muscles. Calming your mind can lower your blood pressure, help you find focus and give you energy. It helps center you before the chaos of the rest of your day arrives.
But such a simple thing—being quiet—can be really hard for many people, myself included. Because it feels like you’re not doing anything, but simply being. And many people don’t have the balance and mindset that allows them to naturally do this.
Some find it easier to get into meditation by concentrating on their breath because that gives them something to do. You don’t need to do any special breathing exercises; just breathe in and out naturally and notice how your body feels.
Other thoughts will slip in. Don’t take that as a sign of failure and give up. Some of the best, most realistic meditation advice I’ve read is to simply acknowledge those thoughts, those distracting feelings, and then gently push them away.
Don’t judge yourself because your mind let those thoughts in.
Don’t assume you’re never going to be able to meditate. Just notice those thoughts, acknowledge them and move on.
Some call this mindfulness: noticing what’s happening in your mind or body without passing any judgment. Don’t get caught up in those thoughts that bubble up, either; just be aware of them and move on.
There are people who can meditate for hours on end. I’m not saying you have to do that. I don’t even do that.
You Can Do It Too
Making these four steps a part of your morning will not be natural, at first. You’ll most likely forget one or maybe procrastinate and do none. Our natural tendency is to resist this process because it can be painful, embarrassing or even depressing. I know first-hand how draining each of those emotions feels.
Through meditation, I have been able to take that energy and become calmer and more peaceful. Once you achieve a state of peace, you’re automatically open to new possibilities.
Now it’s your turn to start your journey.
Editor, Rich Dad Poor Dad Daily