Living a Rich Life in the Age of Worry
When historians look back at this period of time, James believes they will label this period the age of worry. We have constant access to the 24/7 news cycle that is always trying to grab our attention and give us reasons to worry. There was a fascinating study done recently where researchers interviewed people on their death bed and asked them what their biggest regret was in life; sure enough, the number one regret that people had was spending too much time and energy worrying about things they couldn’t control.
Where Does Worry Come From?
There is a model that James learned at the Life Coach school that has transformed his life and he believes that it can transform your life as well. Here is the model: all circumstances are neutral, we then have a thought about that circumstance, that thought we are having about the circumstance creates our emotions, our emotions determine the actions that we take, and the actions we take determine our results. For example, let’s say that the market drops 3%. A client calls James and says that the market dropped which has caused them to worry. However, the fact that the market dropped 3% is a neutral circumstance, it is not causing the client to worry. The client is having a thought about the market dropping which is then leading to a feeling (anxiety) that causes the clients to worry. Once you understand that the thoughts you are having are causing you to feel a certain way, it gives you a lot more power and control over your life.
Prioritize Experiences and Generosity
James believes that prioritizing experiences over things and practicing generosity on a regular basis are two keys to living a rich life in this age of worry. Shared experiences with the people you love become less familiar and more valuable as time goes on. These experiences become shared memories that connect us deeply to the people who matter most to us. We should aim our resources toward creating shared experiences. Along with prioritizing experiences it is also essential to practice generosity. Generosity comes from a place of recognizing that there is a story that is bigger than your own. As James has worked with clients, he has learned that everyone is hardwired to help other people but there are a few circuit breakers that cut off that signal. The three circuit breakers are fortunate versus self-made mentality, gratitude versus entitlement, and an abundance versus scarcity mindset. When we believe that we are fortunate to be where we are at, feel gratitude for the position we are in, and believe that we are living in a world of abundance, we open ourselves up to practice generosity on a regular basis. By practicing generosity and prioritizing experiences with our loved ones, we will be able to life a rich life full of meaning and purpose.