I was recently in New York City where I had the rare opportunity of walking around the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). It was fascinating to be standing amidst the screaming numbers, lingering cigarette stench of 10-minute smoke breaks and panic-ridden outbursts of "buy" and "sell." Yet despite the chaos, there was a sense of pride and significance for everyone there that their job served as the main artery to America's heart.
It did occur to me in all the craziness what a huge influence money has on us and the fear induced by the lack there of. Obviously we are in a time where our economy is second only to the Great Depression, but I think we still have control over our fear-o-meter.
Too often people fall victim to circumstance and start living life by what they are given, instead of taking what they want. I hear excuse after excuse about why people are not living out their dreams, why they have settled for mediocrity and why they become resigned to their circumstances.
I understand times are hard, people are losing jobs, our economy is terrible, and that stocks are down. This is not to invalidate that people are struggling and suffering, but at the same time, I believe it's just another challenge life has presented us with. We can either crumble underneath it, or wobbly-legged and determined, we can stand up in spite of it.
Not to sound Pollyanna-ish, but I think we need a little more faith and a little less fear. We could get in a life-altering car crash tomorrow and never walk again, but that can't prevent us from crossing the street. The economy could get worse and more jobs could be lost, but that doesn't give you an excuse to withdraw from life and allow "money" to become your scapegoat.
I won't swallow the fear pill and act like destitute is planning a sneak attack, poverty is scheming a kidnapping and deprivation has been slipped into my glass of red wine. I believe in abundance. I believe there is plenty to go around, that life is as full or as empty as we choose to see it. Neither money or anything else will limit my life and my dreams. Whether it's finances, your job, your family, your body, your boss, your ex, your past or your future: What are you allowing to be your excuse for why things aren't as you want them to be?
We have one life, one chance to play the game and one opportunity to make our wildest dreams a reality. I had people telling me it was ludicrous to start a company at 22. That I was too young, too naive, too broke, too inexperienced, too trusting, too nice, too "cute and sweet" (my favorite), too ADD, too everything. I was told I was insane to look for investors in "this economy," that I'd be better off getting a "safe" job until the "storm passes by." But what they didn't take into consideration is that I don't believe in waiting for the perfect circumstances and I don't believe in handing over the pen to my life's story when I am the author.
There's nothing more satisfying than doing what people said couldn't be done while humbly thinking, "I told you so."Money will come and go; what we can never lose is the faith we have in ourselves and the certainty we have in our dreams. No more excuses - decide what you want and pursue it relentlessly.
Images courtesy of Sandyspringsrotary.org, Catchtheniche.com