By Liza Horan, Editor
Is prosperity earned or granted?
I think it’s a bit of both. Just as a rose bush starts as a seedling intent on growing — despite ebbing and flowing resources like too much sun and too little rain — we, too, must adapt to shifting circumstances. The bush tries amid all conditions and, if the minimum vital needs have been satisfied, promising buds emerge. If the resources continue steadfast, eventually a robust flower unfurls.
We are similar — up to a point.
See, the plant is always in growth mode. The rule of nature is simple: Survive. It doesn’t have the human complication of thinking, “I’m not worthy” or “I’m too tired” or “I can’t do it.” Mindset is not a problem for a plant. It’s all-in all the time. We are influenced by our subjective perception about matters, which can be inaccurate, while the plant just plays out what’s presented.
Also, the plant doesn’t have options on resources. It may be able to direct its roots toward a water source, but that’s survival instinct not a subjective, weighed decision process. We have options. We can choose more or less of certain resources, some of which are in our own control and others outside of it. A person can cultivate resources (usually with a lot of effort and time) and adjust them wisely if we’re first aware of our power to manifest through attitude and action.
Deepak Chopra’s words about manifesting have stuck with me since I first heard it on his 21-Day Meditation Challenge: Creating Abundance. I learned there are three steps to it: Begin by articulating an intention about something, perhaps writing it down or speaking it aloud or making a vision board or collecting symbols about it; then do everything possible to move that forward; and then release yourself from the outcome. He said the Universe understands intention-setting and the energy that puts it in motion, and from there it can conspire on our behalf. I truly believe and see it happen when I follow these steps. Releasing ourselves from the outcome can be the toughest, but it’s about replacing fear with faith. It’s mindset and emotions, and we can choose our mindset.
When it comes to prospering in anything, I discovered over several years how to cultivate a viable environment for whatever my intention. Wellness is my starting point. If my mind, body and spirit aren’t being supported, things run off the rails pretty quickly into overwhelm and a sense of defeat.
I discovered my formula for prosperity by writing in my journal at night. Basically there was a list of all the things that made me feel good to operate in life. It’s not a guarantee of prosperity, but it gives it a chance.
It’s very much like prepping a car for a road trip: Tuned-up engine, pumped-up tired, topped-up oil, filled-up gas tank, and I was ready to go, with my Google Map lady connected to Bluetooth speakers and a hot coffee in my travel cup. ALL SYSTEMS GO.
My version of road-trip readiness:
- take my daily vitamins and supplements
- do daily cardio exercise (a walk of 40+ minutes counts!)
- do weekly strength and flexibility work (body weight, free weights, stretches — or just yoga or Reformer Pilates)
- eat healthy and avoid junk food
- get at least eight hours of sleep
- have some fun
If one of these slip and I recover, no problem.
If one of these slip and the next one slips, I’m climbing a slippery slope. I get mentally and physically exhausted, possibly sick, feel (or get) fat, look worse, beat myself up, and fall behind on everything.
It’s much harder to come back from this when three items are off. It’s a slippery slope when two are missed for more than two days. Rarely is everything humming at 100%, but if I’m making an effort on them, I’m doing alright.
I think prosperity is a sustained period of good fortune that is cultivated. When prosperity comes, it has been earned by good practice, and that doesn’t mean it comes without challenges. Just as muscles strengthen after their fibers break from imposed stress, and then repair stronger and more robustly, resilience is built through life’s ups and down.
I’ve also learned that true prosperity is holistic. It will not last if there’s great prosperity in one area of your life and everything else is in the dumps.
Here’s what I mean: I can experience prosperity in my work, but if it’s due to extreme behaviour — like working around the clock — other parts of my wellness and/or my life will suffer. It may be alright to work six or seven days a week on a short-term basis for a special project, but it is unsustainable. The system (me) will start breaking down. To prosper beyond a fleeting moment, I need to be balanced in work, rest and play. (The “play” part has mostly been neglected since lockdown started in March 2020, so I know I’m seeking a better balance as lockdown measures ease in the next month here in Scotland.)
Another example is a string of good fortune. Lots of lucky connections (social invitations, new friends, client referrals, etc.) can rush in sometimes, but that “luck” won’t last unless I do my part. In business, that means laying the groundwork for the future because this streak will come to a close.
Some might say the rose bush has all the luck: Its DNA says “grow” and, with ample resources, it does. True, I say, but a plant has a limited experience.
We have all the opportunity, and our attitude and actions play a part in the luck we have. We’ve got to apply our head (mind), heart (spirit) and hands (body) to the effort.
Yes, prosperity is both earned and granted.
This feature is part of Mindstream’s participation in the Wellness Moonshot, an awareness campaign for a world free of preventable disease that’s led by The Global Wellness Institute. View our full editorial package for the March 2021 theme of PROSPER, full of research and reflections. This is not a paid promotion.