Have you ever tried to pursue something you really want? Did that come easily?
I’ve noticed that it’s harder to pursue things I really want than things I don’t genuinely want. I could make a list of contributing Psychological events from my childhood, but I won’t.
This month I started reading a book called Happy Pocketful of Money by David Gikandi. The book has some similarities in approach to Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. One of the recurring themes is that the universe operates based on our intention. The reality we’re living today (aka the present) is a product of our past intentions. The reality we believe and focus on today will create our future.
I don’t think I could have read this book 10-15 years ago because I wouldn’t have believed it. The younger me believed that money and success was more force and competition based. However, in the past 10 years I’ve seen the law of attraction in my own life so I’m inclined to believe it .
Jumping back a decade, I wanted to become a professional trader. Instead, I pursued something I didn’t want and became an Accountant. I took a job in Public Accounting, became a CPA, bought a house, and outwardly seemed pretty committed for several years. Eventually, my now wife gave me the permission to quit. I quit my job, sold the house, and started thinking I was going to become a professional trader. However, I was scared and didn’t genuinely believe I would become a professional trader. That didn’t happen until almost two years later.
A couple years later I was starting to run low on savings and feeling like my options trading site wasn’t going anywhere. The site made some money, but not enough. I started applying to jobs and was offered a job at a bank. The job paid less than my Public Accounting jobs and they said I needed to take down my options site.
I seriously considered taking down the site and accepting the job offer. One of my closest friends told me I should take the job because I needed the money. I went for quite a few bike rides to think about it. I said no and didn’t take the job. Saying no wasn’t my rational choice. I said no because it didn’t feel right.
Saying no to a job when you need the money and are unsure about direction is scary. However, a couple of weeks later I received a call for an interview for an options trading job. Two weeks after that I walked into the first day on the job I wanted.
I think the universe really needed to know that I was serious about what I wanted. It’s like the universe wants to see how we behave in our moment of greatest despair. It wants to see our intention. I’m not sure why it works that way, but it seems to work that way.
Moving forward to today, this has pretty much everything to do with painting and art. Growing up I learned that you shouldn’t pursue things like art as a vocation. You start a business to make money. You make enough money and eventually you can do what you want. We also all learn that art doesn’t make money.
Sometimes things choose us. I started thinking I wanted to be an artist about a year into the job. I had no idea why, owned zero tubes of paint, and really didn’t know what that looked like. Nevertheless, I started making art.
The early stages of a new interest are always the easiest. The resistance to trusting yourself doesn’t begin until you start doing the work. I’ve started to realize that I need to tell the universe no to the other things that come along if I’m sincerely pursuing art as a vocation. It doesn’t mean the other choices are bad things. It just means that it isn’t the future I want to manifest for myself.
To have the life we want, it is imperative to pursue the things we want. Pursuing things we don’t want will almost certainly lead to more of the things we don’t want. It seems simple, but it can be hard in practice.
About the featured image, Rough Inner Sea . . .
I started painting with drywall scrapers. I moved on to tape and brushes. Late last year I started using a window washing squeegee with a healthy amount of water. I like the complexity that comes builds from many thin layers of paint. It’s a good analogy for how life builds on itself and past experiences peek through to influence what we see today.
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