"The only problem with winning the rat race is you have to be a rat to win."

How can I be happy? Why am I depressed? How do I change your life? How do I attract abundance into my life? How can I lose weight? Is there a secret to living a life with abundance in my health, relationship, and finances? How do I live a full and happy life?

Each of the questions above revolves around how to create your best life. And, even though they are difficult, these are the types of important questions we must ask ourselves to create the life of our dreams. When you're searching for answers everything seems like a secret-it's unknown but not unlearnable. Each of us lives in a present state of awareness that does not allow you to see all that is available in this moment. A better life is always available to all of us.

For myself, a full life consists of developing my mind, consciousness, and awareness separate from what society dictated as “right.” I have found that if you don’t ask yourself these questions, you will live under the cloud of “should.” And that’s a life-sucking, vitality-draining place to live in. Living consciously is a choice that is independent of wealth, status, or religion It's an independent and personal journey to discover your path and must be consciously undertaken because society does not encourage this type of growth.

Heck, it’s really challenging to maintain a state of consciousness when you are dealing with the negative vibes whether presented by the media, others, or oven your own thoughts. We all have our own personal challenges on how to grow in awareness and consciousness.

Over the last 20+ years I researched and discovered what truly helps people to live an abundant and fulfilling life. It's not the load of garbage that is sold to you through advertising! And, the answers are certainly not what society tells you. The answers (your truth) is always found within you and come from the life lessons that each of us experience These lessons provide the avenue for personal transformation and our personal success. Abundance comes from living in energy of harmony and connection that starts within you. This positive energy is not something measurable by today’s standards—but this energy exists nonetheless. So here's a couple of guidelines to help you get started on your path:

Rule #1 You can’t create abundance idly standing by hoping to “attract” good into your life-no matter what people tell you. Look around you, despite all the recent hype about attracting this hasn’t worked for a majority of the people who tried it.

Rule #2 Life is action. But, not chaotic, massive action in the hope that something, anything sticks in life. It's action based on your intuitive knowing about what is right for you.

There has been a lot of hype about the movie The Secret. Ask yourself this-Is there something wrong with you because you didn’t “succeed” at the "law" of attraction? Of course not. So it’s not the person. Yet, others believe that the rational mind is the sole arbiter of good decisions-but, research dispels this notion as well– the idea of living your best life by simply using your rational mind to live a fulfilling life leaves gaping holes in your experience of the world. This system ignores your heart center and emotional intelligence. So that’s ineffective as well.

The centered way, the method I describe as Practical Spirituality forms the basis of my book The 5 Laws of Conscious Living show you that a healthy, fun, abundant life is created by taking the inspired actions that resonate with your truth.

To live a fulfilling, abundant, and joyful life requires continually learning new skills, questioning beliefs, and living a life filled with consciousness and awareness. There are many tools available to discover your path. For some, radical forgiveness is the path. For others, using positive psychology, behavioral therapy, or a personal growth plan can change their life. Still others will connect through meditation and some will be moved by the powerful forces of inspiration or desperation. You can use every experience to grow as a person, and couples can learn to create the relationship of their dreams by embracing both awareness and consciousness. Even dysfunctional family systems can shift by changing the energy invested into the relationship, and businesses can make radical shifts into connections with the customers when relationships are coherent with personal values and represent the truth of each.

Are you working on getting out of depression or stopping self-sabotaging behaviors? Are you a person that suffers from social anxiety? Does that mean that there's something “wrong” with you or are you just getting a life lesson to live by? Either choice is true based upon what your internal belief system is.

What if you are a person who is not motivated by money but is motivated by acts of kindness? Are you into alternative health? Do you feel yourself living outside of societies expectations? What is your truth? What is your perception of the situation?

We can be our harshest critics—that’s why it’s beneficial to work with me as a coach, counselor, therapist, and someone who can help you ground yourself in a more effective perception of the world. Your perceptions create your reality but perceptions are malleable! It's time to change them to a more effective paradigm!

Each of us is born with intuitive knowledge about what is right for us, but the ability to connect with this insight is “schooled” out of us when we were young. We must reclaim it, but how? To reclaim your authentic self you must question every self-limiting belief you have and then determine whether these beliefs are useful for creating a life filled with love, vitality, and balance– the life you want to live. If they’re not supporting and empowering you, then you must get rid of them. When I have asked myself these questions I found some beliefs empowered my life and many did not. I threw out ineffective methods I had been taught and started from scratch.

This was really a challenge because I’ve had different types of “success” as defined by society. At one point, I was “worth” millions. When the financial markets collapsed many assets were diminished. But wait! I’m the same person before and after was I “worth” more because of a couple zeros on a bank account? One day I was “worth” millions and a few months later, less. Wow, that’s a powerful lesson around success and judgment! Despite having some prior relationship success, it took a complete review of my beliefs to create the love and deep connection I now share with my wife. That’s another lesson on connection and facing fear of abandonment.

Rule #3 If you allow your worth to be extrinsically determined by others that is a sure path to dissatisfaction, lack of abundance, and your personal hell.

Our experiences of both “success” and “failure” are just how we learn about ourselves and how we grow. In Nicole's and my practice, our lives, and our family we don’t classify these as success or failure. We view them as learning opportunities. Each of these experiences provides incredible lessons that eventually taught me to define success as I see it, not what some external source defined and put on to me.

Our clients as well as professional athletes, CEOs, athletes, performers, and individuals must deal with similar types of external judgment of their worth. A large part of your happiness in life comes from being able to move beyond others’ perceptions of you to create your life, in your way. Often, what separates out the ability of people to have true abundance in their life is to learn the lessons presented to them, while dealing with the people who are criticizing and judging them.

How do you notice if you’ve learned a lesson? Well, let’s look at relationships for an example. Do you notice any recurring patterns around relationships in your life? Are you constantly experiencing dysfunction, conflict, or arguing about the same types of issues? There’s a lesson being presented that you are resistant to learning. Nicole and I have a new book just out called Start Loving that details lessons and shifts that are needed to have the relationship of your dreams.

Have you ever asked yourself if you even believe it’s possible for you to achieve balance and abundance in your life? Will you allow yourself to enjoy true financial success while you are living the life of your dreams? For this type of life to manifest, you first have to believe that it is possible. Many people carry subconscious beliefs about themselves that will never allow abundance. For you to experience more in your life the first shift occurs within.

Let’s face it, it’s not as easy as some people suggest—that you discover some attraction secret and then simply model somebody else’s success to ensure your success. Wish it was that easy, but the results speak for themselves. It's not and never will be otherwise everyone would be doing it!

Does that really seem like it’s going to work? You can model behaviors and systems but you can never model the internal drive and thinking processes of a singular person. If you could, there would have been a hundred Steve Jobs or Vince Lombardi’s. There aren’t. However, you can model the systems used to increase your effectiveness. You can change your practice schedules, marketing, manufacturing process, and other components to increase the efficacy of your plan-but you’ve got to have a plan.

Your plan must come from your center. Living a life of health, vitality, and financial success requires personal growth and self-knowledge. You have more than enough skills, determination, and personal power. Now, you get to choose whether you will make the shift towards your goals.

Defining success for you frees a person of a tremendous burden. It frees you from the invisible bridle that has been holding you back. When you do this, you begin to experience abundance in all ways. Helping your dreams to manifest has become a part of my life--I absolutely know that working with people to help them achieve their dreams brings abundance into my life in all ways.

Choice Point: How will you define success in your life?

Author's Bio: 

Don Nenninger is author, consultant, speaker and co-creator of multi-media programs along with his wife, Nicole.

His books The 5 Laws of Spiritual Living and Be Happy Now are available at Amazon, Smashwords and other retailers (print and electronic editions). The new program Parents as Coaches: The Family Transformation Program has just been released. You can find out more at http://donnenninger.com