This post will probably be too honest. The good thing about honesty is that you are telling the truth and as General Schwarzkopf said "Nothing gets better until you tell the truth."
My life has been in upheaval since the year 1998 really and all of it was self inflicted by a series of bad choices and inaccurate thinking. I basically broke two laws of success while may not having been written anywhere I have found to be completely true. By the way, I hadn't yet read any Napoleon Hill at that time so I didn't get that wisdom yet.
Those two laws of success were:
- When you have found your dream career path, don't be looking for others. It takes a long time to get where you are and it will take twice as long to do something else to get to that level you have reached in what you first set out to do. Be true to your chosen path.
- Although I had been hired repeatedly by opera companies in Germany and was doing pretty well, I was always afraid that it would come to an end. So I started looking elsewhere for a second back up "thing" and it wasn't to prepare myself within the realm of opera.
- When someone tells you they no longer want to be with you, believe them. There is nothing worse than trying to fix a broken relationship no matter whose fault it is. Move on and the sooner the better.
- A broken heart never really mends, and broken faith never really gets restored. Once the knife has cut a wound, the scar will always be there. It can drive you crazy, leads to depression, and ultimately costs a lot of money.
The last thing on that topic that I would like to say is that so many say that the most important things in life aren't money or career but the relationships you have. That is true on a spiritual emotional level, but not on the practical level.
The money you spend/lose can never be restored to you, it is gone forever, so keep as much as you can, and plan your spending.
The career you have was not easily made, and giving that up for anyone or anything else is foolish. If someone or something doesn't fit into your career a decision should be made. You really only can have ONE career, and that as an Opera Singer is fragile as it is. You have to protect it because no matter what your career is, that is what you are good at, and believe me when I say, there is probably nothing else you are going to be as good at as that.
Being happy in your work is so rare in the world, and if you have that in your career then don't give it up for anything. To be the best and have success in what you love doing requires a complete dedication to it. Music is a very jealous mistress and doesn't react well to competition.
So, what does all this have to do with my title?
Well, because of my temporary period of insanity, which was between my highest career highs and my lowest career lows, I experience fairly severe depression. I don't believe that my depression had anything to do with a chemical imbalance or some sort of hormonal response, I think it was my mind trying to tell me to stop hurting myself with my decisions, time and again. Not only that did I hurt myself, but I hurt others too.
When your mind screams at you "Run for the hills!" maybe it is a good time to head it. But, I thought I could turn it all around and make it alright. But, I couldn't.
After the most severe period I started working on my stuff again and I was given an audio book of Eckhart Tolle's "The Power of Now." Reading it was a revelation to me. It completely made sense. Everything in that book is right on the money. However, it understates something that I want to overstate now.
The entire premise of "The Power of Now" is that we experience life only in the present moment, because nothing else exists. What follows is the idea that no matter how bad things may be in your life, as long as things are okay in the moment there is no need to be alarmed. "Accept" your "life situation" as it is because "Resisting" it will only make the stress worse. "Suffering" by definition is the non-acceptance of the present moment.
So even if you are without a job, for instance, you have enough money for today to pay for your food and shelter, plus you have the people that love you and support you. So, "RIGHT NOW" you are not in danger. So, meditate and relax and let the stress flow away from you.
This is all great advice and even though he does include in his book that "Things can only get done in the present moment." You can't drink water yesterday, and you can't eat tomorrow's meal today. You can only eat and drink in the present moment.
All Action Takes Place in The NOW.
The trap that one can fall into is that in order to not feel the stress to begin with is to just remind yourself that everything is OKAY right now which actually does have the effect of giving the option to not act, but rather be passive and not get on the job taking action to improve your present situation.
Let me say that again, possibly in another way...
Even when things are okay, it doesn't mean that things are good and can be allowed to persist. Every day that slips away in non-action is actually a week or a month, a year and a decade.
If you reflect on life and consider how much money you make over a decade, that should really get your attention. From all of that money a person makes people have to pay taxes, insurance, rent, mortgage, travel, gifts, furniture, cars, food, fun, career improvement and so on. Life is expensive and making money can cause stress, but it causes a lot less stress than not making it.
Anyone who tells you money isn't important is lying to you. If it isn't important to you when you have it, it certainly becomes important when you don't. In fact, people who don't have money think about it a lot more than people who do, and it isn't good thinking.
What did Buffett say?
"Never lose money!"
What did Carnegie say?
"Put all of your eggs in one basket and watch that basket."
(That basket of eggs is your money, your security, and your happiness.)
Without that basket you are NOT GOING TO BE HAPPY.
That basket of eggs needs to always be gaining money. It should never lose money. Because it takes little time and work to spend it, but a lot of time and work to make it.
I am sure that Eckhart Tolle would agree that it is okay to be serene as long as you take care of your business and don't fritter it away doing nothing about the things that are not good, like losing a career and losing money, because at the end of the day those things will cost you your relationships, your self esteem, your happiness and you may never recover your life again.
So there is a time to panic because that panic is going to make you take action. If you can take action without the panic, it would be nice. Here is the problem with stress, panic, depression, and generally feeling like dung...it makes it really hard to do anything at all.
I believe the only way out of any situation is effective work. Just get busy making as much headway, money, as you can, and work on keeping it and building it.
What I never really got in my life was that you can do whatever you want in life for a career or occupation and do well financially, but you have to make sure that happens. All you get from the educators is "You can't make money doing that so chose a "practical career." That just pisses me off nowadays.
What they should be teaching you is "How to make a career and make a lot of money out of doing what you love doing." But, educators don't know that or they would have done it themselves. They teach in a school, and while that is a rewarding profession no doubt, they have no clue about being an entrepreneur. This is the single most tragic failure of the American public school system. Everyone should know how to build their business, even if it is only their own bank account.
So, yes, meditate. Get calm. But get to work being calm and make money with joy.
I love the Shaker saying "Put your hands to work and lift your hearts to God." Work hard, and in the moment, and know the power in the peace that prosperity and control over your money gives you.