National Association of Shoplifting and Theft Addiction Specialists
There are many that do not know their purpose in life. If this applies to you, a good way to find your purpose is through curiosity and exposure. One of the best things that we can do throughout this journey is to expose ourselves to different people, countries, cultures, trades, arts, professions, ideas, etc. You might be naturally gifted at something and not even know it because you have never been exposed to it. Curiosity combined with exposure can lead us to new possibilities if we choose to be open-minded and not conquered by fear.
Discovery of your purpose will come as long as you take the journey and expose yourself to new things. New experiences can lead you in a direction in which you can thrive. This builds your confidence because you know that you are doing what you are supposed to do. From this experience you can maneuver through life with joy, strength and enthusiasm because you will be living in a state of expectation. When you are confident, you will do things knowing that you will achieve your desired results. This makes you powerful.
We build our confidence through repetitive achievements. Through practice we put ourselves in the position to accomplish personal goals and make the right decisions. Choices give us power, and if we choose to make the right decisions in life we can attract success. The “law of cause and effect” lets us know that for every cause, there is an effect. Basically, the results in our lives are determined by the choices we make.
Life experiences shape your personality and how you view the world. If your view of the world is not working for you, put on a new lens. Get a new perspective. You can get a new perspective by changing your belief system.
There are many that move to the United States from other countries and blossom. They do extremely well and become successful in a short time. Why is that? They come to the United States with a different lens. They see the U.S. as the land of opportunity, so they live in expectation. They are emotionally charged and work with tenacity to get ahead in life. They are competitive and don’t waste time in acting on opportunities that many of us take for granted. They understand that if they put in the same hard work in the U.S. as they did in their homeland, they will be extremely successful.
It takes plenty of money and effort to legally move to another country. Whatever fears you may have in starting over and chasing your dream are minimal compared to obstacles faced by those who chose to move to the United States. They have to learn a new language, obtain citizenship, find employment and adapt to a new culture while in pursuit of their dreams. Are you willing to make sacrifices and be just as hungry as they are?
Sometimes we miss out on opportunities due to our belief system or baggage. We allow our past experiences to sabotage our future. Sometimes we hold on to things so much that when we are presented with the solution to our problem, we don’t even recognize it.
For example, some people are bitter because they have not found Mr. or Ms. Right. As years go by, these people complain that they can’t find a suitable mate. What they don’t realize is that when they were approached by their suitable mate years ago, they never gave them a chance and missed out on their happiness due to a faulty belief system. They had their defense mechanisms up and because of hyper-sensitivity and prejudgment, their rational thinking became clouded. They missed their opportunity due to baggage from past relationships. This is unfortunate and happens all the time.
Your past does not have to become your reality. Past failures, abuse or rejection can be used as building blocks for success. Your past can be used as a reference tool of “what worked and what didn’t work.” Our brains are designed for learning and we can learn from our mistakes. We must forgive ourselves and others to establish a bright future. Resentment gets us nowhere. Letting go of uncomfortable memories and relationships can free us to move forward and accomplish our dreams.
You can change your beliefs by trying something different and giving yourself new experiences. You might be saying to yourself, “I keep experiencing bad things and it’s hard for me to change my perspective on life.” My answer to that would be, “Make different choices.” If you want different experiences, make different choices. If you want better experiences, make better choices. We make better choices by practicing decision making. If you want to get better at driving, singing or anything else, you have to practice. Decision making is no different. Our results are determined by the choices we make.
Make decisions that benefit you in the long-term instead of the short-term. When you are making a decision, ask yourself these questions: “Does this benefit me in the short-term or the long-term? Will I be more satisfied with the short-term consequences of my actions or the long-term consequences?” Substance use is usually a short-term decision that can have long-term consequences. I don’t know anyone that uses drugs or alcohol for the first time and plans to be an addict for 20 plus years.
Our decisions have ripple effects. As small as some decisions may seem, after time they can compound into a positive or a negative result. Imagine that you put $10 dollars a day in your savings account for a year and it never gets spent. Eventually you will have $3650.00. On the flip side, imagine that you average spending $10 a day on alcohol or drugs. How much money have you lost in a year?
Sometimes we think that we are benefiting from the results of some of our short term decisions, but in the long run we are not, and it comes back to bite us. Some call it karma. Your choices should benefit you in the long run and have the potential to bring more joy and satisfaction into your life.
Imagine that you were feeling extremely lazy and decided not to take your trash out for three months. What would your house smell like? How would this affect your mood or health? How would it affect your image or reputation? This is no different than psychological trash. Some of us have been stocking up on psychological trash for years and it needs to be taken out.
Sometimes we desire to change society and complain that things are not fair. Well, guess what? Life will never be fair. This is the reality of the world that we live in. Laws do not always change because we feel like using certain drugs or feel like behaving in a certain manner. Society, government, or those in power positions will not always take the time to personally consult with us before laws or policies are made. We must deal with this reality and pick our battles.
It is our job to adapt and maneuver through life so that it becomes advantageous for us. We also need to understand that we have the ability to create our own opportunities and do not have to wait on others to create them for us. In other words, no one owes us anything. The faster we accept this, the faster we will be able to progress in our lives. We have to learn how to play the game of life.
Learn from your past and correct your mistakes. Remember that mistakes are lessons that can be learned from. It’s a part of maturing and growing and does not need to be dwelled on. Dwelling on the past is like driving a car and looking through the rear view mirror. Eventually you will crash.
Many commit check fraud, embezzlement and other acts of theft to keep up or live a certain lifestyle. These criminal acts have short-term benefits with long-term consequences. There are many who steal to impress others or even pretend to have a lifestyle that they really do not have. Gaining acceptance and approval from others can be intoxicating. We see examples of this behavior played out through social media sites, school yards, clubs, and even the workplace.
This behavior can become burdensome and lead to increased pressure to keep up the lie. This is an unfortunate position to be in for many. This can lead to embarrassment, criminal charges, and addiction. But is it worth it? Do we want people to love us or our lifestyle?
Does our lifestyle define us as a person? Are the clothes, shoes, cars, designer bags, and electronics really important? Are we chasing the lifestyle, or are we really chasing the feeling that the lifestyle gives us? Ask yourself, does another person has less value than another because of the car they drive or the clothes they have? For those that have so-called “nice things,” are they really happy or are they wearing a mask?
There are those in those in this world that I call magicians. You see what they want you to see. They don’t want you to know who they really are. It’s all an illusion and at the end of the magic show nothing changes. Their problems, insecurities, and issues are still there. The clothes, electronics, purses, shoes can temporarily mask the depression, guilt, shame, and anger for a while. But the truth always catches up with them, and it can be revealing.
We are more valuable that clothes, cars, shoes and fancy gadgets. We can replace these things. But no one can replace us. We should not compare ourselves to others because it causes insecurity and you never know what that person is really going through emotionally, physically, or spiritually. They may be paying a price that we are not willing to pay.
I knew a woman who was worth millions at the time I met her, but she was severely unhappy. Her husband was struggling with a methamphetamine addiction and he was having sex with many of her female clients. There was high turnover rate within her organization and her mood and behavior was erratic. This drove her employees crazy and many of them talked negatively behind her back.
Let this be a lesson to all that read this. Happiness is not defined by what we have, it’s defined by how we feel. The woman I mentioned above had millions of dollars, respect in the community, and a wonderful lifestyle. But at the end of the day, she was empty inside searching for love, happiness and respect.
We must confront our core issues and not be bullied by our past, false perceptions, and things that don’t really matter. It is ok to be vulnerable or exposed. Our lives cannot be based on lies or illusions. Telling the truth has to be more comfortable than telling a lie.