Prosperity, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is "the condition of being successful or thriving; especially : economic well-being."
While the monetary focus is noticeable, the complete definition encompasses a successful and thriving nature in all areas. When related to someone's life, these areas include every faucet of life one could imagine. From health, wealth, and romance, to areas like professional success, personal achievement, spiritual fulfillment, peace of mind, and more. So, to seek prosperity in one's life is to seek a thriving, fulfilling nature in all areas. Basically, to acquire one's vision of "perfect."
The Hard Truth: The First Step Toward Prosperity
Since our desire to achieve prosperity in our lives is a form of seeking our "perfect," our first step on this journey is to truly define what a "prosperous life" means to each of us. This definition will vary greatly from person to person, but the one thing all must do to arrive at the correct answers is to be honest with one's self. For many people, this task can be very arduous at first as this type of self-honesty is not something most people use everyday, if ever. We are conditioned from birth to accept sacrifice and compromise in everything from our relationships to our careers so thinking of ourselves in such a way may seem very selfish at first.
Start with one area of your life and dig deep within yourself and allow yourself to truly define what your "perfect" is. Let your imagination soar! What is your dream job? What is your ideal place to live? What is the person you want to be like as an individual? Write whatever comes to mind down on paper with as much detail as possible. This ensures the thought will not be lost, nor the vision behind it. Take your time with this exercise. You will find that as you earnestly seek the answer, you may have to go through several "layers" of your psyche to allow yourself to get to the truth of what it is you desire from life. If you're writing down your thoughts, you may find it interesting to note that the longer you work on this, even if it's just focused on one area of your life, the more you will refine your statement of desire again and again as you begin to be more honest with yourself about what it is you truly would like to have in your life.
"Help! I don't know what I want!"
If you are anything like me, you may have found yourself sitting there staring at a blank piece of paper for several minutes without moving your pen an inch. It's not uncommon to be so inundated with life and so bogged down with the day-to-day grind that it can be an utter chore to even imagine your life in better shape than it is now. I relate this to the affect of long-term prison sentences on prisoners. They become so used to their cage and their lives, that they find comfort in the bars surrounding them and have a very difficult time setting their mind on aspirations of the bigger and better things the outside world has to offer.
I know many people who say they wish for more from their lives but won't even allow themselves to play pretend long enough to find what is is they truly desire from it. They feel as if they are simply dreaming of things they can never have and ultimately playing out a mental fantasy that, once over, will only leave them with false hopes and future disappointment. For those of us who want more, courage is necessary to press through these feelings and just let ourselves dream a bit! After all, how are we going to get to where we want to be when we don't even know the destination?
Or, maybe, your problem is that you've simply become so engrossed in a long standing routine that the world you know is a very narrow space? I found myself dealing with this problem and it was quite overwhelming to realize how out of touch I had become with the rest of the world and how I had forgotten about what I even enjoyed doing. I had let myself become so trapped in my routine that it felt as if I had been living under a rock for years! It can be very hard to allow ourselves to dream when we have forgotten all the opportunities that are available to us. This is especially true in instances where it seems as though your options to achieve any form of prosperity are extremely limited.
I found two quick solutions to this problem that worked well for me and may work just as well for you:
1. When trying to imagine your "perfect," instead of trying to imagine something your mind can't see, simply focus on imagining one area of your life being better that you CAN see. Meaning, imagine what would be your idea of prosperity in the life you live and can see now. As you begin to focus on making these little things better, imagining them to be how you want them, you'll begin to see many other things outside your atmosphere that you weren't seeing before.
2. Experience more! Do whatever you have to do to get out of your daily routine and experience things that are not the "norm" for you. Do you always go to the same place for coffee in the morning? Go to a different one. Always watch the same shows on TV at night? What something you've never seen before. Haven't gone out in a year? Call up a friend or relative and go to the movies, out to dinner, or out to the bar! Just go! You never who you may meet or how a simple escape can invigorate your mind and power you with new-found imagination to see above your own horizon and enlighten you to imagine greater heights of prosperity for you life.
The point is to just start imagining your life being the prosperous, overflowing, fulfilling place it can be. So start writing these things down and begin your journey of prosperity with this exercise of self-evaluation and honesty. Remember, take your time with this (I recommend at least a few days or a week) and really give your mind the time and leeway to imagine your perfect life.
Remember, we can't know how to get where we are going if we don't know where we want to be!