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Christine Regan Lake

The Tyranny of the “Or” & Why it is Destroying Your Life 

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Christine Regan Lake

“Visionary Companies do not accept that you have to choose between things, i.e. you can have quality or low cost. As F. Scott Fitzgerald pointed out, “The sign of a first rate mind is that it can hold two opposing ideas at the same time and be able to function.” – Built to Last by Jerry Porras and Jim Collins.

From the moment I first read this quote almost 15 years ago, I loved it. I knew there was incredible power in it. This concept ensures a mindset that is expansive and inclusive rather than contractive and exclusive.

Whenever I read something, I always ask myself ‘How can this serve me in every area of my life?” So business books with solid principles become personal development books. A powerful novel can give me insight into my business relations. Knowledge is one body of information, so, therefore, I endeavor to see the parallels and value in every area of my life when I read something, regardless of what domain it has been classified into.

I think there are many people today who are suffering in their personal lives because they are LIVING… the “Tyranny of the OR”… they have come to believe that somehow they can’t have EVERYTHING that they desire… that to get one thing, they have to give up another.

* I can’t be rich and spiritual.
* I have a family. I can’t follow my dreams.
* I don’t have time for hobbies.
* I’d love to travel, but I don’t have the money.

What negative, disempowered statements are you making that are contracting your life instead of expanding it?

Here is the GIFT from “Built to Last”… DO NOT embrace the ‘tyranny of the OR… embrace the “GENIUS of AND”….

* I can be rich … AND… spiritual.

* I will design a strategy that will enable me to follow my dreams … WHILE… providing for my family.

* I create a schedule to my life that ENSURES that I have time to pursue those hobbies that are most fulfilling to me.

* I will live my life and spend/invest my money in a way that GUARANTEES ME… that I will get to travel to somewhere new every single year. 

YOU.. are the architects of your life. You are the only one who DECIDES that you must choose between one thing you want/need and another. Where there is a WILL there is always a way.

It is your BELIEF that you can’t be financially free while living a life of deep purpose and spiritual exploration. That belief will keep you struggling. Just because you hold that belief. DOES NOT make it true. And, if you dig a little.. you will see that this message was implanted by a third party institution. The idea that money is not spiritual has religious roots. You need money to live and thrive, so to hold this view is self-destructive. PERIOD.

If you believe that you can’t follow your dreams because you have a family then you will live a life of quiet desperation. We were built to follow our dreams. Our soul seeks authentic creative expression beyond all things. It has something to say and it wants to say it. To stifle your authentic gifts will guarantee that you suffer. You may have a given job right now that offers challenges for you to follow your dream. However, there is NOTHING stopping you from drawing up an EXIT STRATEGY that would enable you to slowly migrate out of your current career and into your passionate life mission. That exit strategy might require you to nibble away and work nights and weekends getting your passionate career off the ground, but it IS POSSIBLE. It might require you to turn off the tv and better use your time. It IS a choice. You can choose to be a victim or you can choose to own your life and design a plan that will get you to the place that you dream of being. To not OWN THAT FACT.. means you are choosing to be a victim in your own life.

If you believe that you don’t have time to pursue your hobbies, then you need to re-evaluate how on a day-to-day basis you are spending your time. EVERYONE has 30 minutes a day they could put toward something that they love. If you say you don’t. You are lying to yourself. Time to look in the mirror and ‘own your shit.”

If you truly value travel, you will realign your spending habits to make sure that you have money every year to go somewhere new and exciting to you. It means you would stop mindless shopping for crap you don’t need. It means you would scour your budget to remove any bit of excess fat that is not required and reallocate those funds to your travel fund. It might mean you don’t lease a new car every 3 years and that you finance your car and keep it for ten years. It might mean you work a few extra shifts at work to put towards your yearly travel goals. It’s all a matter of ‘How bad do you want it?”

The “GENIUS of AND”… is the formula that will enable you to live a life that is deeply rewarding to you. And, it is most important when you are creating that blueprint for your personal happiness that you take into account ALL the things that you value and are important to you.

Here is an example. The is my personal formula for my ideal life :

Health (Self Love = emotional/physical) +  Spiritual Growth + Creative Expression + Loving Intimacy + Intellectual Growth + Financial Freedom + Travel + Charitable Contribution = Ideal Life

The ENTIRE SPHERE of my life is integrated into my long-term life strategy to ensure a life filled with joy, fulfillment, growth, contribution and play!
Take a look at your personal formula and see if you think you might benefit from tweaking that formula to create a more joy-filled life. 

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