What’s Your Big Picture?

ArtistI have lots of free money to give away, would you like some?

Yeh, of course you would, it’s a no brainer, who doesn’t like free money, but how much do you want? $10 million, $50 million, $100 million maybe?

Or perhaps you don’t want to appear greedy and you’re prepared to settle for a couple of million, just to keep the wolf and the IRS from the door.

There is however, one small catch to this magnanimous offer. I want to know what you want the money for and if you can’t tell me to my total and complete satisfaction, the deal is off.

Maybe you’d confidently inform me it’s to pay off your mortgage, buy a fancy car or even a fleet of fancy cars, retire early, put the kids through college or start your own business.

But if you gave me any answers like that I’d smile benignly, shake my head slowly and say “Sorry, but that’s not the right answer, that isn’t why you want the money at all” and I’d be on my way and you’d be cursing the day I was born.

You’d probably even try and argue your point and drag me back, but it would be fruitless because I know you better than you think, and anyway I was joking about the money I’m a Life Coach, not a philanthropist.

Hopefully, after you’ve stopped kicking me, as a lie in a bloody heap on the floor, you would pause to reflect on what the hell I was talking about? After all, you know damn well what you want the money for, don’t you?

What do you think separates the Rich and Happy people that are at the top of their game from the also-rans that never crack that higher echelon?

Are the cleverer? Do they work harder? Are they luckier? Are they more committed? Do they have a stronger belief system?

Well they certainly aren’t cleverer. I know lots of very successful people that aren’t what you would think of as highly intelligent. I also know some people that works their behinds off for minimum wage. I’m not even sure what lucky means, but I’m fairly sure it evens itself out over life.

Commitment is an interesting one, because I think we’re starting to get closer to what makes people successful. The same goes for having a supportive belief system, again it is a common attribute with high acheivers across all walks of life, but there’s something that may be even more important.

Think of the days when you get out of bed with almost zero motivation for the day ahead. You stare at your computer and all you can think of is a long list of boring chores that you have to get done and they fill you with zero enthusiasm.

Most of us have days like that, when the clocks seems to slow down in direct proportion to the inbox filling up with more crap to deal with. Every incoming phone call is a time waster and every outgoing one hits voice mail.

There’s a reason though why successful people skip throw chores like that without letting their bottom lip drag around on the floor all day. Whilst other less successful people are taking procrastination to otherwise undreamed of heights.

It’s not necessarily because they enjoy the tasks any more than anybody else, although approaching with a positive attitude will help that process too.

The real reason is because they can see the big picture, or rather, their big picture.

They know where they’re going in life, they know what they want to achieve. They also appreciate that for them to get from where they are to where they want to be involves working through mundane stuff from time to time, that’s just the nature of the beast.

Abe LincolnThat is exactly the time when they remind themselves of the real fundamental reasons for doing whatever it is they’re doing. They shift their focus on to their big picture.

If you don’t know what you want out of life then you may well see money as the answer, but it isn’t. It may be part of the answer like cheese is part of a pizza, but if Papa Johns deliver a bag of grated cheese to you next time you order a pizza you’ll soon understand the difference.

The big picture of being given a lot of money is not paying off your mortgage. That may be a stepping stone towards it and it may be a part of it, but it’s way more than that.

You have to ask the question;

What does paying my mortgage off do for me?”

That will start to move you in the right direction and you can keep drilling down by asking of the answer;

“And what does that give me?”

And so on and so forth until you get to the heart of who you are.

The big picture involves your purpose for existence, it involves knowing what you really want out of life and the level of identity. It involves words and phrases like leaving a legacy, significance, making a difference, setting an example, helping others etc.

They are the things that really inspire people, but bizarrely they’re things most people seldom think about.

When you sit down on a Monday morning and see a to-do list in front of you that looks like The Gettysburg Address, shift your focus.

Instead of concentrating on what you don’t want i.e. to do whatever it is you think has to be done, concentrate on what you do want.

Think for a moment about what’s really important to you in your life and realize that these tasks are helping you to get there even if you’d rather be lying on a beach.

Of course if you really wanted to find out what comprises your big picture, you could always invest in a copy of How To Be Rich and Happy and truly find out your purpose in life.

One final thing. Somebody I have got to know recently and who’s read How To Be Rich and Happy has started a website documenting the experience. You can read about his exploits in moving toward a Rich and Happy life by checking out How To Find Happiness