There is such a thing as rich but miserable—we all know people who fit that pattern—but there is no such thing as fulfilled and miserable. Material abundance, which can be useful, contains no fulfillment by itself. Fulfillment comes from a vision that comes true. The higher the vision, the greater the fulfillment.
In effect, vision acts like a trigger for abundance. It sets in motion a host of hidden processes, because awareness builds upon itself, as you probably have already experienced. If you practice, you get good at things. If you reinforce the positive, there is more positivity to come. This is the ideal kind of feedback loop that can be applied to everything you dream of, wish for and envision. But it requires focus. When you learn to ride a bike, you don't want to be eating a sandwich and texting a friend at the same time. Riding the bike is your focused intention. Apply this same concentration to your vision.
But what kind should you choose? Some principles are common to all higher visions, and they can be simply stated: I will be good and honest; I will be sincere; I will hold on to my truth; I will aim to love and be loved as best I can; I will add to everyone's life, not simply my own; I will do no harm; I renounce violence; I will revere the things I believe in the most.
As for getting to the specifics, look at the people you most admire. Write down a list of heroes and heroines that inspire you, either from real life or fiction. Read biographies. Delve into scriptures and inspirational literature from the world's wisdom traditions. As you expand your search, you won't get more confused. Instead, you will find that certain elements ring true with you, over and over. Maybe it's the element of service or devotion or giving or creativity. As you incorporate it into your thinking, your own vision will be clarified in your mind. This germinal stage is important, so don't hasten it or become impatient. The vision you select is actually selecting you.
7. Make full use of your successes.
It's strange to realize that abundance starts small. Doesn't that contradict what the word "abundance" means? It means a bumper crop, a flow of good things and unlimited supply. Those are all applicable, but you can't assume that abundance happens all at once, like a thunderstorm quenching a parched land. The process is more like attaining a skill. If you want to master walking a tightrope, you start small and low down, not big and high up. This actually insures that you will reach your goal.
So don't set yourself up for failure by short-circuiting the process. A lot of things, including the wiring in your brain, must become organized around your goal. Every wish brings a result. The world's wisdom traditions teach this lesson. But they also teach that results can be tiny, or mixed, or hidden from view because our awareness is limited and distracted. It helps to know that the process will never let you down—your every thought and intention becomes part of the feedback loop.
Be focused and consistent. Notice every step forward and take advantage of each small success. In this way, you close the gap between what you want from life and what it is giving you. At the same time, trusting the process also means not straining or adding to your stress. We are all programmed to fear the unknown, and yet every good thing in life emerges from the unknown.
In the end, the gap that separates lack from abundance is self-created. Abundance, however, comes down to connecting with a natural part of life. It is lack and loss that are unnatural. Life is a field of infinite possibilities. The unknown isn't filled with just a few good things; the possibilities are unending. Try to make the connection. You have the ability. Creating your own reality is the richest gift you received at birth. Abundance is a wellspring for you to tap into, and the process of getting there actually works.
More from Deepak Chopra
- How to get out of a sad slump
- 3 questions to ask when things go wrong
- Advice for dealing with difficult people
Learn more about Oprah & Deepak’s 21-Day Meditation Experience Series.