People live much longer these days. Statistics predict most of us will see our eightieth birthdays. Even more optimistic, some scientists say we’re easily equipped to live to 120. Imagine hitting sixty and thinking, Hello, middle age! Knowing it’s possible you’ll live to be much older than most people at any other time in history, you have to realize, even if you’re already over that proverbial hill, you’ve got a whole life ahead of you. Most of us haven’t even hit our stride yet.

Choose What You Want to Create

What do you choose to create for the rest of your life? It’s a funny phrase: the rest of your life. Most people don’t envision swinging in a hammock for thirty to sixty years. Even though I’m years away from sixty, I certainly don’t plan on lazing about for the entire remainder of my time here on earth. Yet if we can think of “the rest” as both purposeful and mindful inactivity, along with the absence of both busywork and exhaustion, then “the rest of our lives” can take on an entirely new meaning and meaningfulness.

Easier said than done, though, isn’t it? To expend our energy on what’s most important and to remember to slow down so we can rejuvenate takes conscious attention on a clear vision for our lives. We must know with absolute clarity what we choose to create.

Move Away…and Move Toward

Many of us find it much easier to define what we don’t want: “I don’t want to be downsized out of a job,” “I don’t want to be fat any more,” “I don’t want to be alone.”

Knowing these “don’t-wants” is only half the equation. These are the conditions we want to move away from. What are we moving toward? To be successful in the long term, you must know both the moving away, which tends to compel you to action in the first place, and the moving toward that will keep you going even after you’ve reached a major milestone.

Consider the example of a weight-loss goal. A major factor in the yo-yo effect commonly associated with this goal is that people are clear about what they don’t want, but don’t have a vision for what they do want. Once they’ve lost the weight, why continue to exercise and eat sensibly? The goal has been achieved, so there’s nothing left to do but hope that some good habits got ingrained. But for most people, that doesn’t happen. Ninety percent of people who lose weight in North America gain everything back within two years or less—plus two more pounds!

Once people who were overweight get far enough away from being fat, the motivators are gone, and they get sucked back into their old behaviors. A better strategy is to acknowledge the moving away motivator, but then to focus on the moving toward: “I will feel confident and strong in my body,” “I will be able to enjoy any physical activity that interests me,” “I will look irresistible in my jeans.”

Likewise, a person who wants to get out of debt (move away) needs to come up with a vision to move toward: e.g., “I will have the freedom to travel anywhere in the world.” Someone who doesn’t want to feel lonely any more (move away), needs to focus on what he or she chooses to create: e.g., “I will reach out to my family and friends so I always feel connected.” We need to know where we’re headed, not just what we’re leaving behind.

Become the Person You Were Meant to Be

So what is it that you really want in your life? What do you desire? What are you passionate about? When you have a desire for something, it is your higher self speaking, prodding and wishing you to grow.

I remember years ago hearing one of my mentors say, “Decide to be a millionaire…not for the green slips of paper you will have, but for who you will have to become to get there.”

Your current results are a direct reflection of the person you have become up to this point. Why is it that those who win the lottery in our country—almost without exception—are flat broke and miserable within two years? It is because they have not yet become the type of person necessary to live at that level.

It takes a bigger person to make $100,000 per year than $10,000—to make $100,000 per month than $10,000. It takes a bigger person to go Royal Diamond than it does to go Silver.

Understand, I did not say a better person. There is not one of us who is better than anyone else. We have all been given the same potential from our Creator. But it does take a bigger person, a person who is willing to stretch, to take risks, to take massive action and have tremendous faith.

There is only one objective in this life: to fully expand and grow into your full capability. Your desire is calling you, challenging you to take the next peak, to become the person necessary to rise above your current plateau, no matter how favorable it may seem.

The great mythologist Joseph Campbell said, “The only question in life is whether or not you are going to answer a hearty yes to your adventure.” Answer yes! Believe in yourself and take the leap of faith. You will be glad you did and your life will be magnificent!

JAMES ARTHUR RAY is President and CEO of
James Ray International, a corporation dedicated to
teaching individuals to create harmonic wealth in all areas
of their lives. James Ray is a featured teacher in
The Secret