Come on. You know you want to.
So what’s keeping you from it? Is it insecurity, self-loathing, shyness? Let it go. Do you actually still believe that there are people out there who deserve wealth, happiness, and good health more than you? Of course not.
Or wait. Maybe you do. Maybe this is like other universal rules we ignore, like aging. We all have a tendency to think they don’t apply to us. We see people around us getting older, getting stuck in ruts, making the same life mistakes. But we are genuinely shocked when we spot those grey hairs on our own heads, and surprised every time we have to turn another page on the calendar. Really, already?
Guess what, the rules of abundance are no different. They apply to all of us. Of course, you know I hesitate to use the word abundance, heavy as it is these days with the weight of pseudo-spiritual babble. But if you bother to look it up, one of the words used to define abundance is “fullness.” And that, after all, is what life is. Full.
I’m talking to you. Yes, you.
I saw you skimming through the beginning of this article, trying to convince yourself I was talking to someone else. Well, I’m not. I’m talking to you. So stop whatever else you’re doing, take a break, sit down and pay attention. Get a coffee if you need, or a glass of water, I’ll wait.
Here’s my point, if you are reading this, then that one-word topic at the top of the page has to do with you. Because that is how the world works. We come to things when it is our time. And if the thing is right in front of you, it’s your time.
Speaking of time, I want you to take some of it right now to think about what real thriving could look like in your life. I don’t mean the kind of thinking where your mind wanders aimlessly, like when you try to meditate. Or when you’re waiting in line at the DMV. Or when you’re supposed to be listening to someone, but you aren’t, you’re thinking about three other things. I mean for you to really set your brain on this question. And then ask why your life doesn’t exactly look like that.
Don’t ignore the answer.
You know what I’m talking about, the answer that popped into your head as soon as I asked you the question. The one you then dismissed immediately as not being true. Yeah, that one.
You must find the courage to look that answer in the face, just like you would a dream monster, in your most lucid act of dreamworld courage. Because — and get ready, this is the aha moment — that answer is the key to the door you’ve been seeking for at least half your life.
I know, that sounds dramatic. But it’s also true.
Alright, so we’re only 500 words into this piece, and already that’s a lot to chew. Stay with me, though. If you want, feel free to grab a quick snack, something to dip in your coffee, maybe. But, come right back. Actually, just carry this with you.
So you’ve got the answer to both what it would look like to be fully thriving and why you’re not. Now, you know what? You’ve actually got to do something about it.
And I don’t mean do something like remember to put it on one of your countless lists of things that silently threaten to plague you for eternity. I mean do something. Anything. One small thing.
And keep doing it. Every day until you are actually finally living on that planet called thrive. And then keep doing it.
Now, tell someone else.
Sure, lots of people may read this. The secret to planet thrive, though, is that more is better. (And as my friend Kay says, better is good.). So, don’t keep it to yourself. Spread the word. Invite more people to the party.
Because the more people thrive, the more the world thrives. And the more permission is spread around for others just like you to figure out their own secret to living a ridiculously full and happy life.
And who doesn’t want that?
Thomas Lloyd Qualls is a writer, a condition that is apparently incurable. (He’s also an occasional painter, videographer, bike rider, foot massager, and sometimes salvager of troubled lives.) The condition manifests itself in different ways: novelist, essayist, poet, compulsive note-taker. He manages his condition, in part, by regular contributions to Reno Tahoe Tonight Magazine and to the borderless virtual tribe known as the Rebelle Society.
He knows that people are shy when it comes to talking to artists and telling them what they think of their work. But please, get over that. He really wants to hear from you. Really, you. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Friend him, follow him, or just invite him out for a beer.
Waking Up at Rembrandt’s, his debut novel, has received local and national critical acclaim. The second edition of the novel is now available in print (think of vinyl, only for books) and on multiple e-version platforms. (If you want to stop what you’re doing and buy it right now, go ahead. We’ll wait for you.) But please come right back, there’s plenty of other good stuff in this magazine.
If you are interested in reading more from the author, there’s a new book of poetry entitled love jaywalks, available all over the internets in ebook format. Still to come: a collection of essays, some new paintings and a second novel, painted oxen, due out just as soon as all the words finish lining up. (He promises to keep herding, however long it takes.) In the meantime, feel free to stop by his website whenever you like. You can subscribe to his online journal, alchemy of words, while you’re there. www.tlqonline.com
* a version of this essay appear in Reno Tahoe Tonight Magazine