Have vs. Have Not

Sometimes I get focused on what I don’t have. With advertisements extolling the virtues of products we don’t have, sometimes it’s easy to lose focus on what we do have.

In order to focus on one thing, we must exclude everything else.

Renowned life coach Anthony Robbins calls this “deleting.” In one of his talks he asks the audience to look around the room and find everything that was blue and then close their eyes. With eyes closed, he asked the audience to think of something that was green. As expected, the audience was so focused on blue things that they failed to notice things that were green. When focused on blue, the brain automatically deleted all other colors.

We do the same thing in our lives. Sometimes we are so consumed with what we don’t have that we miss what we do have. Every commercial presents us with something to buy; something that will improve our lives exponentially if only we would purchase it. Every store is filled with new things that will makes us happier, sexier, and more productive; or so they would have us believe. With images of what we don’t have constantly before us, it’s easy to delete all the good that’s present in our lives.

Trust me, I fall into the trap all the time. I spend far too much time lamenting all the things in life I don’t have. It’s depressing and it leads to unhealthy thoughts and behaviors. It is almost always a result of deleting all the good in my life and focusing on all the bad. That is no way to live.

My life is not perfect. I have plenty of problems, but I have plenty of blessings, too.

I do not have a full-time job, but I have a part time job that provides some income.

I do not have a BMW, but I have a car that runs well.

I do not have a sprawling 5 bedroom home but I have a place to sleep that is safe and comfortable.

I have food.

I have friends and family that love me.

I have a sense of destiny and purpose.

I have am in good health.

When I focus on these things it makes me feel full. Content. I don’t feel this sense of longing that I have so often tried to fill by buying more things. I don’t need more things. I only need to realize that I already have enough.


2 thoughts on “Have vs. Have Not

  1. I needed to read this. I’m going through a similar time myself. I have so much to be thankful for, but all I seem to focus on is how much better my life would be if I had more of what I think i need. I need to be content with what God has given me and not consumed with what I don’t have. Thanks for these words.

    1. Isn’t it easy to get caught up in what we don’t have? Just today I was thinking about things I want: the job I want, the life I want, the vacation I want… But I already have so much. I have to constantly remind myself if that.

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