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Life is not an accident. Read that again. Slowly. Your life, as it is and as it is going to be, is no accident. I know, I know – your first thought is a panic ridden confusion akin to a cake floundering under the weight of its own icing. “I want to have this, and that – I want to have it all.” Yes, and you still can have it. Once you understand this simple sentence. Life is not an accident.
Have It All: By Design
Like I mentioned earlier, life is no accident. It is the sum total of all the thoughts we have had, all the things we have focused on and everything we have unwittingly manifested. Those of you who are lucky to have knowingly and mindfully manifested what you want, will relate to many things in this article. But for those of you who are reading in horror and shaking your heads as you say, “I did not want this – in fact, I am waiting for the very opposite to happen,” well, stay awhile. I have a story to tell.
Life is huge design. A giant jigsaw puzzle. A blank canvas. A beautiful fabric waiting for needle and thread and sequins and thought provoking structure to meet it. Yet, we don’t see it that way. We don’t understand that life is a design that we have to render in order to have it all. We only look for a pre determined, pre designed path that we are meant to follow.
And where does that lead us? Nowhere? It leaves us poking holes in that fabric in a mishmash of patterns that can only evoke horror. If you though the Met Gala outfits are getting more and more outrageous by the year, wait till you stand back and look at your life.
Have It All: It’s All in the Phrase
The details are usually hiding in places where we forget to look. To have it all is to understand it all. To begin with look at the phrase: Have. It. All.
Now, break it down.
Focus on one word at a time.
Have – say it like you already have it. Mean it like you would when you have it. Not if – when.
It – do you know what it is that you want? Think, focus, write.
All – limitless. That is the power of what you can do. That is the power of what you can be.
Yet, here’s what we usually do:
Have – our first question is, how? So the universe only hears you questioning yourself.
It – not sure. Instagram accounts I follow, friends I meet, seniors I look up to. You are not making yourself it. So you have no idea what ‘it’ is. In fact, when you think of it, you immediately focus on not having ‘it.’ Or on having the opposite of ‘it.’
For example, ‘it’ is a high paying job. But you are always thinking of how little you are making in your current job. Which is what the universe deciphers as your ‘it.’ Because what you shine a light on, is where your focus is.
When you change your ‘it’ you will change what you are looking at and how you are looking at the same thing. You will stop envying your neighbor and you will instead wonder, “what skills can I get, to land a similar job? Or, “what do I love doing – something that I am good at, something that will in turn, bring in abundance immediately.”
All – nah!
See how it should be read vs how you are reading it?
Have It All: Mantra or Mindset
What if I told you, both!
When I was 32, I had a life changing experience that I did not particularly choose. Yet, I had brought this experience to my life with a decade long fear that started with “what if.” I became a single mom. And it should have felt like my whole world had collapsed, like my worst nightmare had come true. But, it didn’t.
Undoubtedly, it felt like a nightmare had come true. But at the same time, I suddenly felt like I have it all. Because I had nothing to lose and I could rewrite, redesign, replay, et al. As a parent, I was relieved that my child was not part of a toxic environment filled with smoking hot battles. We had exited that battleground with my wits intact and I could finally breathe and choose colors that I truly liked to paint my life with.
Within five years, here are the things I had:
- A thriving self publishing business
- A gang of girl friends who were on the same wavelength
- A happy child who had two happy homes rather than one unhappy home
The mindset came from the mantra and the mantra became the mindset. To have it all, I really had to look at life like I was ready to have it all. In doing that, I only saw opportunities where others saw challenges. But, there was a whole lot more to the journey. And that’s where the have it all mindset and mantra come into practice.
How to Have It All
Step 1: Define. You need to have a clearly defined goal. Without interruptions and extra pronouns. Leave the ‘how, but, what’ and all of that aside. When you do this, you also define what having it all means to you – on your terms. Not on the terms of society or the latest Instagrammer you may be following. Just pure and sure You.
Step 2: Choose. Where are you going to put your energy today? Where is your focus going today? Think of the earlier pattern or lack of pattern – stop the progression of that pen, brush, needle. Follow a more deliberate pattern that will give you joy and help you create. Just create. The ‘it’ will follow if you are in the right mindset.
Step 3: Prioritize. When they say choose yourself, they also mean to prioritize the things that will take you closer to where you want to be. In order to have it all, you will need to make that goal your all. Only then will the universe understand what it means to you and what you mean to you. Not society, not the latest Instagrammer. Capisce?
Step 4: Schedule. Make time for your priorities, now that you know what they are. Get into that manifesting mood. Be in the flow. If none of this makes sense just yet, remember – to have it all, you have to give it all. The way you would when you actually have it. So, structure your schedule to keep your priorities on top. Wake up early and get your morning pages in if you dream of becoming a best selling author. You know, that kind of thing!
Step 5: Recognize. Keep your eyes and ears open to all opportunities. Especially the ones that scare you and make you want to run back to your comfort zone. That is the zone where the ‘it’ from your have it all resides. Simple truth.
Step 6: Guard and Be Grateful. Have full faith in your vision and guard it with boundaries and a sense of accountability to yourself. Question everything standing between you and the habits needed for you to have it all. And then, be grateful for each challenge and for each day that you spend inching closer to having it all.
Have It All: Get in the Mood
Now, 5 years after becoming a single mom, I was in awe of myself and my journey. This is where I found a twist in the tale. I decided to change things up and aspire for something higher. For that, I had to break out of my comfort zone. A lot of crying, howling and why me happened, before I realized – this is exactly what I had wanted and asked for. I moved abroad, but due to the pandemic, I got stuck in the country I was supposed to be vacationing in. I could not secure the necessary PR for the country where I was headed, and like many others in my place, I withdrew the application. Yet, unlike many others, I had nothing left in India to return to.
What would I do?
I spent one year waiting for someone to tell me. And then, I realized no one was going to show up. I had to show up for myself. So, I got in the mood. I had much to celebrate – I was on a journey that would help me have it all. I had redefined my ‘it’ and here I was – mid journey, wondering whether to march on or to buy a return ticket.
So, I stayed. And here I am – new website, app on the way, new opportunities.
While I Waited to Have It All
While you wait for your ‘it’ to be delivered to you, it may feel like the whole world has come to an end. Your life and dreams may feel like they are straight lining on a monitor while you gasp for breath. It does not have to be that dramatic.
Starting over has its own charm. And here are the steps I followed to have it all as I started over:
- Took stock. What worked and what didn’t?
- Understood the need of the hour. Do I need new skills? New books? New Motivation?
- Changed habits. Found and replaced old habits with new ones.
- Reworked my priorities. Recentered myself based on the above three. This one became crystal clear pretty soon.
- Redesigned. And now, here I am – new goals, new goals, new ideas for same old business of books and words.
Basically, I got in the mood to have it all. Because I never doubted that I already had it – at least within me – to have it all.
Cultivating the Have It All Mood
Having it all is a mood that you need to slip into. It could be as easy as reading a book that helps you recognize and believe. It could be a playlist of productivity music that gets you going when you feel the waves of procrastination washing over you. And a lot of times, it could be the simple act of cooking a meal that helps you step away and distract yourself so that you get a slew of fresh ideas. See where I am going?
So, here’s my list for you to follow and hopefully stay inspired!
Books to Help You Have It All
I have a simple mantra: When it doubt, and when not, Read. So here’s a list that helped me during a particularly low phase as I was wondering how to revert to the have it all mindset amidst all the life altering changes that seemed to be pushing me back.
Have it All by Kris Krohn. Found this one crammed next to The Definitive Guide to TikTok Advertising – a book I will not be buying in a hurry since TikTok and I seem the unlikeliest of partners. But Have It All speaks of creating a blueprint of sorts to become a millionaire.
Start with Why by Simon Sinek. I know, I know – one too many articles and posts on this book. But it still holds on to its relevance, especially in an era that has been ripped apart by the pandemic and its mind numbing sense of – now, what? This book, especially in the rereading, gives power, meaning and purpose with simple tenets and observations that we could easily miss.
In Tune with the Infinite by Ralph Waldo Trine. Now, this one is a classic that teaches you something new each time you open it and consider the gems on its pages. With a large number of 5 star ratings, the reviews go from ‘inspiring’ to ‘enlightening’. I would recommend this book for those who are looking for a reason to simply wake up and believe. Because therein lies the next step.
Dance with Your Darkness by Ramon Stalenhoef. If you are looking to now take action, but seem to lack direction, then this book is for you. I remember reading this and watching as the excel sheets and To Do lists grew in my brain. My horizons expanded and I knew I was not meant to sit here and wait for the light – I was the light switch!
Atomic Habits by James Clear. In case you haven’t heard already – this book is a serious game changer! If you go back to the steps I listed above (to have it all), I talked about habits. Atomic habits is a book that will lay your problematic patterns in front of you and then give you a whole new way to think, behave and do. Read this one to change your life.
Music to Help You Have It All
When I think of work and purpose, I automatically hear a soundtrack. Do you too? Well, research shows that the vibrations from different kinds of music turn into electric signals that travel to various brain centers and become impulses that we act on. So, if you ever had any doubt about the power of music, this should dispel it. Here’s the productivity playlist that gets me going and keeps me going:
Focus Music for work and studying by Greenred Productions is an absolute favorite and a staple on my YouTube screen. This one has a soothing backdrop with vibrant hues of snow kissed mountains – my happy place, to be honest!
The 4K Cozy Coffee Shop by Relaxing Jazz Piano truly sets the mood and gives a slight lift to my spirits when I am working on monotonous things like keyword research, adding links, and more.
The dual frequencies here help me concentrate even as they keep my spirits up for hours upon hours of productive time. The Pure 40 HZ Binaural Beats by the Be Inspired | Studio is one that stays with me like coffee and helps me forget all distractions!
Activities to Have It All
Have you noticed that it generally takes one thing to send you into a downward spiral? It’s as if at any given point in life, we are standing at the edge of a cliff threatening ourselves that we will jump. Well, I said, not so fast.
While trying to get into the have it all mindset, I decided to start acting like I already did. How would I eat? What would my fitness routine look like? What would my home look like? Turns out, the questions propelled me to change a few habits. These habits in turn freed up a chunk of my mental bandwidth and time. Priorities said a big hello, and we were all in a good space! So here are the activities that helped me become a creature of better habits.
Fitness had definitely taken a backseat and I could feel the burden of the extra pounds on my shoulders, my hips, my gait, my knees and even my psyche. I would not want to wake up in the mornings because I did not know how to face my day or my own reflection in the mirror. By setting out on morning walks again, not only did I take back control of my fitness level, but I also found that my day begun whether or not I knew what to do with it. I gradually found myself filling it with books, notes from those books, and a business model that was born from those notes.
Here are a few things I would recommend to build a great walking habit:
Swapping my earphones for iPods. Best decision ever! I resisted it for long enough but after my sister gifted me a pair, I knew I had to jump on this bandwagon and boy, has it been a cool trip! The simple act of removing wires along with the superior audio quality – now you know why I really look forward to my walks!
I am a FitBit loyalist and so an upgrade from my older model meant another FitBit. The Luxe Fitness FitBit has me motivated like never before! Not only do I still track my steps and wait for the customary celebration on the tiny screen when I reach my goal, I also get to track my heart rate, sleep patterns, water intake, calories burnt and consumed – and, I get to sync it with my Noom! The gold rim and the soft neutral hue of the band makes this a luxe looking device on my wrist too!
The Vivaglory Insulated Bottle Carrier is a soft sling that allows you carry your water bottle with least obstruction so that you can walk with ease and comfort. I love how the adjustable shoulder straps allow me to adjust it suitably so that I can access it and it does not hit my thighs while I walk. This is a must have, because when we walk, hydrate we must!
A water bottle carrier would do little good without a water bottle. So, I bought this set from Opard. Four sturdy bottle in cool ombre hues with 30 oz each and a simple flip top lid that helps you chug while you are on the go – I like!
Finally, walking shoes! The shelves are alive with the sound of treads, but there is one that I really like simply because it has a breathable mesh and a structured sole that truly puts traction in my step. The STQ slip on pair is also a favorite of mine because well, slip on. Need I say more?
Eating and Cooking
My next activity is one that helps me pause, unlike walking which gets me moving. So, I usually reserve this for the end of the day when I want to be inundated with fresh ideas, switch off and even mentally go through a mental checklist I like to call the I Did List. While I love to cook, I also realized that I like to keep it quick, simple, fuss free and even healthy. At the ripe age of 40, I decided I am going to swap comfort for health. And luckily for me, I found an answer that has a cool combination of both: Mediterranean cooking!
Touted as the best diet ever to lose weight, stay healthy and fight chronic issues like inflammation, I regained my cooking mojo with the Mediterranean Diet Cookbook for Beginners by Michelle Sowle. And more than just assembling meals, I have thoroughly enjoyed the process of creating dips and sauces that I bottle each week for a plethora of texture laden ingredients.
Organizing and Decluttering
And finally, the third habit that helped me get into the have it all mindset was a simple one – taking stock of everything I had, cutting the clutter and organizing what I really needed for ease of access. Simple steps that helped me cut back on needless shopping trips and remove the clutter that was impacting my mood and creativity. With a three product system, I found a far more organized way to live – and trust me when I say this, it allowed me to breathe! It allowed me to think!
The first thing I chose were bins – do not underestimate the power of bins in cubbies. They clear the clutter and hold things that you would otherwise go crazy looking for!
The second set of products were vertical storage hanger products like this Simple Houseware Closet Organizer. Who knew I had so many forgotten pieces of clothing that I could now easily reach? Thank you for giving me my life back, seriously!
And the third product category is the humble rack. Have you looked under your kitchen sink? Have you had to dig around for a condiment that had to be used before burning the onions? Then you know exactly what I am talking about!
So, there you have it – three habits to remind me of what I can do, what I already have, and what I need to do to get into the right mood.
What does your Have It All journey look like? Do share!