At the end of the book, “The Amazing Power of Deliberate Intent,” Abraham talks about simply doing the things that make you feel best, in every aspect of your life:
“We want to say to you that we are all making too much of this… that life is supposed to be fun, and that the basis of your life is freedom… and that expansion is inevitable… and that you are utterly worthy Beings. If you could relax and pet your cat and dangle your feet in the stream and find things that please you and focus upon them… and spend time with the people who make you feel best and read the books that make you feel best and go to the movies that make you feel best and take the drives that make you feel best and think of the aspects of those you work with who make you feel best… and think of your parents in the way that makes you feel best and make lists of things that you like that make you feel best and wear the clothing that makes you feel best and eat the food that makes you feel best and do the things that make you feel best and think the thoughts that make you feel best… hmm, you would feel pretty good. Life would then begin treating you in the way that you deserve.”
We heartily agree! But then why don’t more people do it? It seems obvious that taking care of ourselves and doing what feels best should be our priority. However, we can all find objections, distractions, and obligations that prevent us from doing so. Here are a few common ones and what to do about them.
“What will other people think of me?”
When you live your life based on other people’s standards, it’s difficult to be happy. You can do your utmost best to please them, but they will still find ways to be unhappy with you. Tune in to what you think of yourself and do what feels best to you. Those who truly love you for who you are will applaud you for being yourself.
“What if I fail?”
Fear of failure keeps many people from pursuing their dreams. Think about what you’d wish to do if failure wasn’t an option. Keeping in mind your own pleasure and joy, start taking steps in that direction. You’ll be surprised just how simple feeling good can be.
“What if I don’t know what’s best for me?”
You might feel that without self-discipline you’d just sit around in your pajamas all day, eating bonbons, and watching TV. So what? Try it for a few days. Your creative spirit will get bored and find something more interesting to do. Follow your passions where they lead, without getting caught up in judgment.
“How will I get anywhere without working hard?”
Doing hard work on something you really enjoy doesn’t really feel like work at all. As you find more and more things that feel good to you, make the same effort you would on “busy work” and dedicate your time to your own joyous pursuits. Make the job of feeling your best your primary focus.
“What if I don’t know what I like to do?”
You might have been doing what you “should” do for so long that you don’t even know what brings you the most joy. Start by simply take a few breaths and in this moment, discover what feels good to you. Then, continue to do those feel-good things until more ideas about what you could be doing line up for your appraisal. Make lists of your favorites. As you practice, you will more easily find the best-feeling thing to do.
“How will I pay for it?”
You may worry that playing all day won’t pay your bills. Start small, and eventually it will. Take a weekend to devote to yourself and your joys. Do some research on how to transform those things into a business that you would love to share with the world. Or perhaps modifying how you approach your current means of income could change it into a more joyful experience.
“Do I really deserve it?”
“Am I being too selfish?”
Taking care of yourself is a selfish act. But there is no one else in the world that knows who you are, knows what you like, and can make you feel best. Only you have that power. By taking care of yourself and feeling wonderful, you can then share yourself with everyone else. You cannot give effectively until your own cup is full.
“How can I find the time?”
If you have a partner, children, a job, and a house to take care of, you might despair at ever having time for you. By changing your attitude towards some of your “must-do” tasks, you can make them fun. Play word games while driving to work or school, giggle with your kids in the grocery store, or try new recipes as a family. You can also learn to schedule blocks of time for yourself. An hour after the kids go to bed, a quiet Sunday afternoon, a half-hour first thing in the morning when the house is quiet, or a lunch date with yourself are good times to do what feels best to you.