As anyone who has been around kids knows, at a certain point around four years old their favorite phrase becomes, “Because I want to.”
It got me wondering, when do we stop believing that this is reason enough? For example, a friend or family member asks you to do something you prefer not to. Do you feel that can you can politely decline… just because? Or do you have to come up with a whole string of justifications?
When we are four years old, we KNOW without a doubt what we want. Now, granted, those urges may not always be socially acceptable, or even in our best interest, but damn it, we know what they are.
The socialization process and learning to delay gratification certainly have their uses, but often we become so well trained, so domesticated that we lose touch with what we really feel and want. Or, we may feel it, but shove it aside as unimportant or unattainable.
Come on, big kids, let that inner four year old out to play! If you don’t, you risk getting caught in the flip side of “Because I Want To,” which is “I Don’t Want to!”
Many of us focus too much on everything we don’t want, don’t like and don’t have. Problem is, the more attention you give to anything, the more powerful it gets.
Breaking the “Don’t Want” mindset can be tough, but if you want to lead the life of your dreams it is crucial. Like changing any habit, it just takes willingness and practice.
Every time you catch yourself focusing on what you don’t like or don’t want, flip the script and spend twice as much time visualizing having what you do want in that specific situation. It doesn’t matter how far-fetched you think the reality of that scenario might be.
Bliss and the sense of abundance that comes from living your particular dream life starts in your own brain. It starts with the way you choose to see things.
This excerpt below from Rob Brezsny’s Astrology Newsletter sums up my philosophy of creativity and the pursuit of bliss so well that I wanted to share it. Whether you think anything is going to cosmically change in 2012 or not, Brezsny makes the point that the best strategy to prepare for any kind of change is to tune in to our own truth.
“The best way to prepare for a Big Shift is to cultivate mental and emotional states that ripen us to be ready for anything:
* a commitment to not getting lost inside our own heads;
* a strategy to avoid being enthralled with the hypnotic lure of painful emotions, past events, and worries about the future;
* a trust in empirical evidence over our time-worn beliefs and old habits;
* a talent for turning up our curiosity full blast and tuning in to the raw truth of every moment with our beginner’s mind fully engaged;
* and an eagerness to dwell gracefully in the midst of all the interesting questions that tease and teach us.
Everything I just described also happens to be an excellent way to prime yourself for a chronic, low-grade, always-on, simmering-at-low-heat brand of ecstasy — a state of being more-or-less permanently in the Tao, in the groove, in the zone.”
Today, take a cue from your favorite four-year-old (or the one you used to be) and start employing the phrase “Because I Want To” on a regular basis. Unless that want is the adult equivalent of peeing on the floor or hitting your neighbor over the head with a toy, most likely you’re on the right track.
Say it loud and say it proud. Why are you spending every evening working on that book/painting/movie/invention/business plan? Because I want to! Why are you moving to Mexico instead of doing x,y,z like everyone else? Because I want to! Why are you getting rid of that job/relationship/habit that doesn’t serve your highest self and doing something else? Because I want to!
This is your life, friend. Live it your way.
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