The Courage to Live

   Do you have the courage to live? It does take courage to survive, to find the light of hope to live through to the next day. I’m talking about the courage to live the life of your dreams.

    When I was a teenager, I had a little circular lapel button that read ‘no one ever said it would be easy’. That message impressed upon me a belief that has been a strong influence. When I shared this recently with my coaching friend, she recommended that I get an ‘easy’ button, and so I did! I have it right here by my computer. When I send an important email, finish a challenging phone call, or complete a task, I push the button to hear the voice say ‘that was easy’ and I say ‘Yes, it was!’ and I believe it. 

    For years I have appeared to be doing better financially than I am. It was a big reality check and an overdue blessing when I realized I had ‘maxed out’ the credit cards, because now I am more committed than ever to creating a sustainable income base. So I am thankful. Since I’ve been sharing my financial profile with complete strangers in banks, I have found the courage to declare, in this compassionate forum, my willingness to take responsibility for the debt that I have accumulated. There is always room for improvement: I’m looking into the mirror to see the person who I am becoming.

    I have sat in many a bank employee’s office reviewing the numbers. While I have a good credit rating because one way or another every bill has been paid on time along the way, it’s that pesky debt-service ratio that is the snag. I know very well by now that increasing my income is the key to open doors. An image comes to mind of me pushing against a closed door, yearning for the day when my options are opened up, the debts dissolved and the choices boundless. I see the door swing open wide, and with the sudden release of pressure, I stagger into the expanse, all resistance gone, with a whole new set of circumstances revealed. 

    Financial consultants, many of whom are much younger than I am, unless they have become financially successful themselves, am I really wise to seek their counsel? Naturally, they are bound by bank policy, so when I hit the ceiling of my credit limits last fall, no one in those institutions would front me even $500. It had been years since I had called on my good credit rating in my circle of friends. Between two long time friends and one newer friend, I borrowed a total of $2500, with agreements to repay them over three months. I was able to repay them on each of the three agreed upon dates. This significant accomplishment has given me confidence to continue putting together the pieces of my financial puzzle. Besides keeping my credit rating intact with friends, I was motivated by zero interest. The thing with credit cards is that so much of it is interest payments that at times I wonder how on earth I will ever get the balance to zero in my lifetime!

    I believe there is a better way to increase my financial income than by simply working at my beloved day job. I am sincere – I do love delivering mail. For seven years it has given me credibility in my financial dealings and provided rewarding employment for me, being a person who has at times felt awkward in more traditional forms of employment.

    People who say that they desire more time or more money are not always willing to act on that desire. I often hear people arguing for their own limitations, even for the limitations of others. I am becoming much more conscious of my language and habits as my beliefs change about my worthiness to grow beyond limited-income thinking. 

    As I change my beliefs, everything changes, including habits and choices that either serve or sabotage me. I have heard that while it is important to be happy and grateful for what I have right now (and I am), that it’s also okay to not be satisfied, that dissatisfaction can actually be a creative state. In the garden of dissatisfaction, the seeds of dreams are sprouted, courage grows and new beliefs are harvested.

    Am I living the life of my dreams today? In many ways I say YES! I also know there is a life beyond ensuring the next bill is covered, beyond feeling limited, and I welcome that experience, to be doing better than I appear, while I continue to live simply. The money is more of a tool than a goal, as I do more of what already inspires me and fills my days: expanding my radio show outreach, writing, recording, publishing, volunteering, learning, being of service to others as they manifest their own dreams, and making use of my talents in as many ways as I am able.

    I remember sitting in my car about ten years ago, deciding how to make the best use of the $5 that I had. I had an appointment to make photographs for someone as a trade; I was hungry, and I also needed gas for the car. I am really grateful to have had the experiences of both money in the bank and no money in the bank, of increased limits on credit cards, and then no further increases allowed, of being without a home, of figuring out interest rates on credit cards and loans. The contrast between then and now will certainly make for a dramatic story once I become financially stable. And yet, I imagine there will always be someone saying, ‘Oh well, that was easy for you’.

    I am determined to succeed. I am willing to follow the guidance of others who have risen from humble beginnings, had the courage to strive through adversity, to believe in themselves, to be grateful and stay the course. I am inspired by Napoleon Hill to know that given a strong enough desire and the willingness to do what it takes, that all is possible. 

    “The optimist sees the opportunity in every calamity, and the pessimist sees the calamity in every opportunity.”

    I see the GPS (Global Positioning System) as a metaphor for life. This multi-satellite sourced tracking system in vehicles has an automated voice dictating the next best step en route to one’s destination. In my friends’ car, when we drove right by the recommended exit without turning off, the automated voice simply said, ‘recalculating’. I love that! No judgement or reprimand, no ‘what were you thinking?’ Recalculating: my next best option is to increase my multiple sources of income. I am actively and courageously upgrading my beliefs while working together with others as a team, associating with a multitude of like-minded forward-thinkers. I am enthusiastically diluting doubt and worry with a rich mixture of positive thoughts: joy, awe, confidence and gratitude. In moments when I falter and lose the momentum of confidence, I continue being my own best friend and declare: ‘recalculating’!

   I am already feeling the effect of all of this positive thinking that I am committed to in my life: I am putting it to more than just “the test”: I am putting it to “the TRUST”. I welcome you to keep track of me as my process evolves, and see how I am doing. Thank you for sharing this journey with me as my witness.  

     I have the courage to live, and yes, I am looking forward to everything!

Lynn Thompson is the host and producer of ‘Living on Purpose’ which aired on CHLY radio in Nanaimo between 2004 – 2009. The show is heard through two podcasts.