Why You shouldn’t Chase Money and Power (and What to Do Instead)
“The problem with external power is that it is fleeting: when you lose the money, position and possessions, you lose the power. If you have tied your identity to those things, you will also lose a sense of who you are when they fall away.” Robin Sharma
There was once a time I was pursuing the things that we all are interested in pursuing: money, prestige, and status.
I was working on political campaigns and helping some of the most powerful people in the country get elected. I spent countless hours plotting, strategizing and helping candidates win higher and higher offices.
I got paid more as I held increasingly important positions. And with each candidate who won an office, I had even more access to people with influence and power.
I was moving along steadily to get a job in the nation’s capital, where there was an abundance of both money and power.
It took my personal life falling apart, including a painful divorce, to slow me down and force me to reassess my life and priorities.
See, I had thought that I was the sum of my achievements. And I defined myself by how much I was earning, whom I worked for or whom I knew. Sure, it was exhilarating and exciting, but at the same time, I realized that I really had lost a sense of my own self-identity.
I had given up my true power – the power inside me.
To complete the quote above, Robin Sharma reminds us that, “The only power worth anything is authentic power – that which comes from within.”
I’ve gone through a journey of struggle and reprioritization and have come out stronger. I no longer work in politics and am no longer pursuing careers based on financial decisions.
I’ve learned to claim my authentic and real power – internal power.
Your ability to improve your self-worth and claim your authentic power will help you live a successful and fulfilling life.
Here are 3 ways that you too can develop true inner strength and power.
1. The power of your thoughts. Your thoughts have the ability to shape much of your life.
Your thoughts lead to the formation of your belief systems, your values, and how much you love and accept yourself.
It is your thoughts that lead you to compare yourself to others, maliciously whisper to yourself that you are not enough and that you need external achievements in order to validate yourself.
In order to combat the lies that our thoughts entertain, we can learn to acknowledge them for what they are. We can call out our negative thoughts and challenge them.
When a belief arises that does not resonate with your self-identity, like the worry that you’re not good enough or others are more talented than you, you can write down a list of reasons why these statements are not true. Prove to yourself that the beliefs you have are untrue by focusing on the reasons you are good enough and as talented as anyone else.
Use self-help literature, positive self-help notes, and verbal affirmations to help you turn around your thoughts and feelings about yourself. Listen to thought leaders and motivational speakers to help you value yourself more.
You also have to learn to be kind to yourself by ignoring any self-defeating thoughts. Your mind may think them, but you don’t have to attach yourself to them. Just like clouds, allow these harmful thoughts to pass.
Treat your mind and body like someone who loves their mind and body would. Don’t expose yourself to negativity in what you watch or hear. Stay away from situations or people that make you feel terrible about yourself.
Use a heart-centered loving or mindfulness practice to generate feelings of love towards yourself. Allow the love within to expand to all parts of your body and all those around you.
When you mess up, let it go. When you want to yell at yourself, refrain. When you feel inadequate or incompetent, be compassionate towards yourself.
2. The power of your experience. As helpless as you might feel and as doubtful as you are about your abilities to succeed, here are a couple ways to shift your focus and generate internal confidence in yourself.
See, when push comes to shove, you’ve done it before. Whenever you’ve confronted a challenge or uphill battle, you’ve gotten through it. You’ve survived. You have badges of achievement and have overcome hardships to get to where you are today.
When things were looking bleak, you got over it.
When facing an impossible task, you completed it.
When a solution was needed, you came up with it.
Know that you have the skills and solutions you need to survive.
Once you accept a set of circumstances, if you believe you have the answers and the solutions, inspiration and fresh ideas will strike.
Just knowing you have the ability and experience do it is the key to solving the problems that arise.
Secondly, be open to embracing changes in your life.
A powerful way to live is to be open to changes and challenges. We usually hate change because we believe that change will take away what we desire and value.
You can shift your perception of change. Instead of viewing change as a negative, think of change as wisdom and growth, helping you develop into the best person you’re capable of becoming.
Think of change as a teacher. The more you experience and can tolerate change, the more you can achieve in your life.
Build up your muscles for accepting change.
3. The power of your purpose.
The third skill to develop is living in alignment with your truth and purpose.
You most likely know what your purpose is, but it’s probably been shamed into hiding. Your life experiences and other people have tried to diminish the glow of why you’re here, even if you may have known it at one time.
You have a calling and you will discover it in the journey of your life. You just have to be aware and acknowledge it when you see it.
While it feels like you’re walking in the dark towards your purpose, take note of what you’re naturally skilled at, what you’re complimented on and what you love to do.
What do you do in your life that doesn’t feel like work? Most likely, that is narrowing in on your purpose.
Also, go about the world knowing that every circumstance, experience and meeting with someone will ultimately benefit you. The world is setting things up, even through the hardships and struggle, for you to achieve your destiny.
It may seem dark much of the time and not make any sense, but a deep belief that everything will work out in your favor is a good technique to help you achieve success.
If you’ve discovered your purpose but aren’t living it, make the transition slowly.
Move steadily towards the things that light up your heart. Work on businesses and ideas outside of work hours. Set up a freedom fund so you quit your day job. Reduce expenses so you can make a career or life shift.
Once you are on your path to your purpose, the outside world cannot shake you up. When you’re answering your calling, you’ll be unstoppable, and circumstances will unfold favorably for you.
Never again tie yourself to the ups and downs of external gains and losses. The things you were told mattered by society are not as important as accepting yourself and living your truth.
External power may make you feel good, but inner power is the key to true inner strength, as well as freedom, happiness and fulfillment.
Vishnu coaches people to live a more purposeful life. To download the ebook, “One Way Ticket: 11 Ways to Discover your Highest Purpose and Transition Out of Your Profession”, visit www.vishnusvirtues.com.
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Author: Vishnu's Virtues
Vishnu helps people live more purposeful lives. To download “One Way Ticket: 11 Ways to Discover your Highest Purpose and Transition Out of Your Profession”, visit http://www.vishnusvirtues.com/