How To Create Life Leverage
I think that I’ve always been attracted to the prospect of increasing cashflow because of what it represents. To me, it’s always been a symbol for life leverage: the ability to increase one’s options for action.
We feel alive when we are free – to feel free is at least closely related to feeling alive in the sense of feeling an excitement for living. Recall the last time you were travelling to a new country or location you’d never been to, or the thrill of meeting someone special, or finishing a story or painting of your own creation, or the simple pleasures that come with having an unexpected, free day to spend exactly how you want it, or the thoughts you had after seeing a powerfully moving film, or receiving an unexpected but welcome windfall of money.
Maybe a different situation comes to mind to you. I’m guessing you may have felt thrilled and quite inspired. To be inspired, etymologically speaking, is Latin for “having the breath of God inside you.” The Greek equivalent is to have enthusiasm – from entheos, “to be in God.” “God” can refer to however you conceive a higher power or higher intelligence ordering things – whatever turns out to be above beyond the realm of mere human consciousness and human life.
To create life leverage is to access more of this feeling of inspiration and enthusiasm. It is to move closer to that part of you that feels this way or is “in touch” with your own “divine spark” so to speak; the part that leads you to take – as Joe Vitale has said – “inspired action.”
Imagine feeling that way all the time? Of course you’d have your ups and downs, too, but in general the more actions and options that are open to us, I think, is one of the key ingredients for how good we can feel.
One of the worst feelings is to “feel stuck” in our lives – we must be in a certain place at a certain time for other people so we can please their clients and customers; or how about the feeling of having absolutely no time or space to oneself? That can really wear down your health after a while.
So here are some quick thoughts on how we can better get in touch with or create more of this life leverage.
(1) Have a plan. You might not have a huge global plan that you can fit over all parts of your life just yet, but I think it’s probably a good thing if you can at least have a plan running and working within certain aspects of your life, such as finances and investments.
Having a plan might help you “keep all your ducks in a row,” so to speak, so that instead of squandering your energy in various places or on various methods, your energy, resources, and money are all lined up and moving in the same direction. This cuts down on drag and resistance to where you need to go.
(2) Work as much as possible from a place of inspired action. I’ve noticed that with the accomplishments I’ve been proud of, and the great people that I have met, that these have all flowed outwards from an original place of inspired action that I once took.
For example, deciding to take a certain class “on a whim” because you feel attracted to that topic – and lo and behold, you meet a great friend there, who later introduces you to someone else who teaches you about something else you had been looking for for quite a while.
I’m sure you get the idea here. These chains of connections, I’m guessing, tend to happen when we originally move from a place of inspiration. When we’re stuck in our “same old, same old” routines and mindsets we act, think and perceive in the “same old” ways.
(3) Stick to what’s essential. A simplistic way to put this is to call it “focus,” but what focus really means is this. Cut out (or put on hold) the unnecessary parts of your life. Block out distractions (first you need to figure out what the distractions really are).
Figure out what 20 percent of your actions are giving you 80 percent of your results. Focus on this 20 percent first and foremost, before moving on to that other 80 percent.
I remember starting to put this principle into play when I was in my final year of undergrad (yeah, maybe I should have implemented it sooner). Between applying to grad schools, commuting two hours to teach a course, and taking 6 courses of my own, on top of all the day-to-day errands of living, I really needed a way to feel like I was still moving ahead and getting stuff done.
(4) Follow your muse(s). This is different from #2. When you work from a place of inspired action, you’re already inspired. You’re acting, you’re an agent of inspiration. You’re not looking outward for things, you are just creating, so to speak, from inside yourself when you decide to take a different walk today, or try a different restaurant, or take a spontaneous vacation because you’ve been getting really strong signals lately about all things Costa Rica.
Following your muse, however, is about knowing what inspires you and staying in touch with it. It’s the place where you can go for your “fix.” A voice that reassures you, “yes, there’s a way out of this. You can get ahead. You’re doing it. Keep going.” Whatever you find yourself returning to over and over.
Lately, for me, it’s great financial books. More generally, though, whenever I travel I get the feeling. It’s so easy to wake up at 4am. with enthusiasm for making it to the airport on time in order to head off to a place I haven’t been to yet.
Another way to put this is to ask what will wake you up again when you’ve been sleeping for a while in your life? Have you seen the recent film Flawless starring Michael Caine and Demi Moore? Remember the scene where Laura Quinn is sitting at her office desk and reading the old “self-help” notes she wrote to herself? Coming across one of these reminders again when you’re feeling “stuck” can be the burst of energy you need.
But what about cashflow?
These are four ingredients that I know have worked for me. I’m sure there might be others. I am not sure about the place of cashflow in all of this. I don’t think that cashflow is merely a means to an end – i.e., just a way to be able to do the things you want. I think that in the beginning, increasing your cashflow can be much, much more beneficial than that. If you’re a student or anyone else living below the poverty line, for example, boosting your cashflow can help you make significant advances with your life and your energy. If you’re a multimillionaire and you’ve pretty well got the basics of what you need to be happy, more cashflow isn’t going to be as beneficial (unless you’re operating a vast charity network, or something similar).
I wonder if this all sounds very vague or if it creates any new connections for any reader. We’ve all read some of the same inspirational texts and have shared many of the same experiences, no doubt. I think that the next thing to do is to bring them altogether and work on synthesis and synergy. Oftentimes, progress in my own thinking occurs when I’m able to see two things side by side that were previously known only in isolation. So I’m going to try to work harder at that here, too, and draw more bits together that were previously left in scattered array.
How To Create Life Leverage
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