The Wisdom of Insecurity: 5 Key Takeaways and how to use them in reaching your own financial goals

Title: Wisdom of Insecurity: A Message for an Age of Anxiety

Author: Alan Watts

Key Takeaways:

1. The only real moment is the present moment

According to Alan Watts, all our troubles come from a single fact: we do not live in the present moment.

Constantly worrying about the things we cannot control is counterproductive and makes our lives miserable. If we always live our lives between the anxiety caused by anticipating the future and the regrets brought back into our memory by the past, we do not live our lives at their full potential.

The only moment that truly counts is the present moment.

2. The only truth in life is change

The only constant in life is change.

If you cannot embrace the fact that things don’t last forever, you will not enjoy your journey.

You have to embrace the duality of the road. Do not judge your life from your current state of mind or health.

You have to experience the good and bad things that happen to you and others. There is no point in regrets, because you cannot change what is already unfolding.

Related: 5 easy steps to improve your mindset and find new ways of making money

3. The illusion of the ego

Watts argues that the ego is a mere mechanism that detects danger and helps us make decisions that keep us alive.

You must not identify with this part of yourself or think the ego is a separate self.

If you live all your life with the illusion of the ego, you cannot live in the moment. As the ego is in charge of detecting the dangers surrounding you, if you leave the ego in control, then you will see only hazards, and you will find yourself in a state of constant worry and anxiety.

Related: 5 ways you are blocking your success that few people know

4. Embrace the unknown

The unknown causes most anxiety and stress.

By accepting to live in uncertainty and embracing that the unknown is not to be avoided, you can find inner peace and freedom to live your life at its full potential.

Watts argues that the unknown is a vital part of life, and without embracing the unknown, you will lose your present moment with thoughts that will make you miserable.

Related: 5 success-blocking money fears that you need to control right away

5. Life has no purpose

Life does not have a purpose. The purpose of living is life itself.

The journey is the whole point of living, not the destination.

Watts compares life with the art of dancing. When you are dancing, there is no final purpose or fixed destination. It is just you and your partner dancing for art’s sake.

In this case, your partner is the whole universe. You should live for the sake of living.

Accept that money, lack of money, health, and illness are the two faces of the same coin that is flipped continuously while you “dance” with the universe. All are part of a life that exists only for its own delight and nothing more.

How can you apply those principles?

1. Meditate

You don’t have to be a guru or a monk to practice meditation.

Meditation shouldn’t worry you or look like a sophisticated process.

You could take a break from your current problems from time to time and think about what is happening in the present moment. Take a break and enjoy the sunlight or a beautiful piece of music. 

This is also true if you are ill or feeling stressed. Instead of worrying or feeling annoyed, pause and observe how your current state of health makes you feel. What is happening with your mind and body at that moment?

Living in the moment means experimenting with both the good and the bad.

If you struggle with your financial growth, take a moment and breathe. Think that this is the stage at which you are in your life, and don’t judge yourself or your future self because of your current state of affairs.

Example: Let’s say you’re feeling anxious about your financial situation for the next month. If you overthink what will happen in the future, it will make things worse. Assess that your current situation is not as bad as you thought and that your anticipation of the future is tempered by fear. And even if everything is as wrong as it looks, take a moment and tell yourself that this is just a temporary situation. Say to yourself that this is also part of your life. Don’t run from it. Face it, accept it, and move on. Things will get better.

Note: If you don’t take time to fully live the hard moments of your life, then the beautiful moments will also pass as if they were a dream

3. Embrace change

Life is a continual process with no promise of getting better or worse. Change may come across as scary, but it is not necessarily bad.

By living in the moment, you can easily accept and benefit from change. 

Your mind will always look for opportunities for your financial growth. 

If you dwell on the past or the bad things in your life, your mind will be too crowded or dull to spot opportunities.

Even if you don’t embrace it, change will occur whether you like it or not. Accepting this fact will only benefit your long-term growth. 

Example: You may find yourself out of a job. Getting all dramatic about an unpleasant fact will only do you damage. The point is that, depressed or not, angry or not, the reality remains the same. Your job is gone. By embracing the types of things that can occur, you open the way for you to adapt and turn the situation in your favor. You can find a better job or decide to start your own business.

Related: Another 5 easy steps to improve your mindset and find new ways of making money

4. Let go of ego

Based on Watts’ theory, I say you do a little experiment about the ego.

The question is, are you sure you are who you think or say you are?

Think about how you interact with different types of people, and you will find that you are different depending on various situations.

Example: At home, you are a husband or wife. With your children, you are a mother or a father. You are a lawyer, doctor, or teacher at work. In your neighborhood, you are a neighbor. With your employees, you are the boss. As you see, the list goes on and on. You act differently on every occasion. 

So, the question still stands. Who are you? A teacher, a doctor, a father, a good friend, a neighbor? 

The answer is that you are all of these things and more. 

Leave behind the illusion of ego.

Note: On the financial side, having a solid ego could be a problem. The “it’s beneath me” problem. You can lose good opportunities if you hang on to your ego. A thing as little as how you perceive yourself could make a substantial financial difference along the way.

4. Be curious

The great German poet Goethe said that life should be a wonder to everybody. 

Learn to be curious about everything that comes into your life. Enjoy new experiences. 

Being amazed at what life offers is the best thing you can do. 

Example: If you decide you want to build wealth, then you might be curious about all the possibilities that lie out there. If you say, “I will never be a millionaire anyway,” you will have no chance of succeeding. By being astonished by all the things life offers, you will be grateful, even if you don’t reach your financial goals. Being open-minded dramatically increases the odds of your success.

5. Enjoy the present

The right time doesn’t exist.

Many of us wait until the “right moment” comes to find peace or rest. Happiness is not a thing in itself. 

Happiness is what happens when you gracefully live in the moment.

Always waiting for the right time to stop being stressed or overwhelmed can bring up financial and health problems. 

Example: Let’s say you’re dissatisfied with your job. If you cannot find little ways to make the day more bearable, try to find peace of mind and small joys at home or in your spare time. Assuming you don’t work 24/7, these moments are already there to take advantage of. Dwelling on how awful your day at work was will kill your spare time. Don’t wait for that big vacation to relax and be peaceful.

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