Truth Byte # 33

Truth Byte # 33

You can have the life you always wanted.

I am sitting on an airplane.  All around me people chatter, meeting the strangers they will spend the next four hours with, while hurtling through the air in an airtight tin tube.  And I am that writer, with my laptop out on my tray table as people stuff suitcases into overhead compartments, gleefully continuing my people watching from the corners of my eyes and noting it all down for you here.

There are families and business people, and we are in one of those giant planes reserved for overseas travel.  I have a feeling this plane is on to China after this, judging by the languages on the newspaper stack at the door of the plane and the boarding announcements in Mandarin.  

There is an anticipation in the air, the excitement of travel.

As I sit here, I am reminded of my first more-than-an-hour-long flight that I took as a teenager.  I was buzzing with that nervous excitement, trying to look cool and in control and wondering how old everybody thought my fourteen-year-old-self was and if I was wearing the right clothes for the journey.  A grandfatherly gentleman read the newspaper beside me for the half-hour that we waited on those poorly-shaped, dark-coloured chairs that every airport around the world seems to share.  The agent called for pre-boarding (back in the days, babies and their superhuman first-time mothers automatically boarded first), and suddenly, there was a swoosh of people clamoring into a line.  The grandpa-guy looked at the people bustling politely to get in line, and peeking up over his reading glasses he looked at me and whispered: “Last time I checked, it was assigned seating.” 

We shared a grin, and waited until everybody was on the plane before calmly walking up and onto that vessel.  

One sentence, from a stranger, that stayed with me for over two decades, and has changed the way I see air travel.




So what does this have to do with having the life you always wanted?

What he taught me that day is that it’s all about perspective.  Everybody is getting on the flight.  Whether we huff impatiently in the line or stroll on at the last minute, it doesn’t really make a difference.  

What matters is how we feel during the flight of this life.

Which leads me to gratitude.  The life you have today is the result of a series of beliefs and actions you have had over a period of time.  If it’s not the life you wanted, today is the day to pivot to new beliefs and actions.  Are you telling yourself how hard it will be to get that promotion/romantic partner/house/body/job/opportunity that you have always wanted?  Well, if you convince yourself it will be hard, it will be. And if you remind yourself that your seat is already assigned on the plane, perhaps you will stop grumbling.  In the end, the destination of this human life is ultimately death.  

And I have been reflecting on death a lot lately as my elders pass away around me.

So the question is, how exactly are you going to spend this finite amount of weeks/months/years until you get to that destination? Are you going to spend it complaining and worrying and unsure, or are you going to chose, today, to begin creating the life you always wanted?

And I know that on hard days, that can seem like a tall order.  But it’s really not.  

Here’s why:

You already have some of what you always wanted!

You already have one or two or twelve or fifty-five pieces of your puzzle lined up.  If you have time to read this blog post, you clearly have access an electronic device, which means you have at least a little bit of disposable income, or at least a library card and membership.  

And did I mention having the TIME to read this post?

If you smiled when I described that airplane experience because you could relate to the hushed rush at the boarding gate, then you have been on an airplane, which is a big deal! (Don’t believe me? Ask a fully grown adult who has never buckled up an airplane seatbelt what it means to fly.) 

So now that you have admitted to yourself that you do have a few things, here’s the 8 open secrets for truly having the life you always wanted.

  1. Put pen to paper: what do you really want?
  2. Be grateful for what you do have, and reflect on that regularly.
  3. Tell people what they mean to you for no reason.
  4. Add more to the world – see where you can give rather than get.
  5. Celebrate the little joys, both yours and others.
  6. Keep moving in the direction of hopefulness and optimism.
  7. Give thanks when you hit your milestones.
  8. Take time to have fun and make sure to enjoy the flight!

These are my secrets.  They work for me.  I believe they will work for you too, because after all, we aren’t really that different, you and me.  As Ether Hicks says in her book Money and the Law of Attraction: “These processes are easy to understand and apply, but do not let their simplicity cause you to underestimate their power. Consistently apply them and show yourself the leverage of the power of aligned thought.” (2008, Pg. 58)

An easy way to achieve the life you always wanted is to use the phrase as a hashtag. Include #thelifeialwayswanted with certain incredible and/or mundane pictures of your life that you post on social media.  That way you are reinforcing that you are already there in many ways….and leaves room for this time-limited life to be even better.

Dr. Saira Sabzaali

Dr. Saira Sabzaali

Dr. Saira (she/her) provides mental health support through individual counselling, groups, immersive workshops/courses, and free educational content. Over the last 14 years, we have helped men and women of many backgrounds find answers to their questions about work, life, love, and meaning. Much mainstream psychology overlooks spirituality, family values, and community context, so we have decided to specialize in serving clients who are ready for change and also want to include their cultural values and spiritual beliefs into therapy.

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