Being able to navigate through life with integrity is the single most important element within your control that will determine the degree of personal happiness and fulfilment that you feel.
In my Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui book I describe an Arabian family who used their immense wealth to create an identical home in each of the four locations they frequently travelled to. To ease the stress of travel, whenever they went shopping for personal items, they purchased four of each item, one to be dispatched to each of their houses. That way, whichever place they were in, they had around them all the things that made a place feel like home.
More recently, I heard an interview with Elton John, who also had four homes in different parts of the world at the time. Each had its own architecture and style but whenever he shopped, he too would buy four of each item, one for each property. In a previous interview, published in Architectural Digest in 2000, be confided that shopping is the only addiction he still had. ‘I shop, and my decorators make sense of it; I give them the pieces, then they put the puzzle together.’
The challenges of wealth
For the rest of us who only have one home and buy only one of each item when we go shopping, this may seem like a huge extravagance. But immense wealth brings its own challenges, as anyone who has ever won the lottery will attest. The Grief Recovery Institute lists winning a substantial amount of money as being as much of a major loss in a person’s life as losing money because the lifestyle they have had up until that point is gone forever. Some people adapt, but many crash and burn.
Take the sad case of William “Bud” Post, who had just $2.46 in his bank account when he won $16.2 million in the Pennsylvania lottery, payable in annual instalments. ‘Everybody dreams of winning money, but nobody realizes the nightmares that come out of the woodwork,’ he later said about his experience. Within three months of winning, he was $500,000 in debt. Then a former girlfriend successfully sued him for one-third of his winnings and one of his brothers tried to have him killed by a contract murderer in order to inherit his wealth. He eventually lost all his money and relied on government food stamps for the final years of his life.
History is littered with many other tales of lottery winners and inheritors of wealth who have quickly spent their fortunes. Never having had money before, they don’t know how to manage it. ‘Winning the lottery is the worst thing that ever happened to me,’ said Billie Bob Harrell, who won $31 million in the Texas lottery in 1997 and committed suicide two years later after giving much of his money away and separating from his wife.
Predatorial money lenders know very well how many people who win money or inherit wealth get into difficulties by over-reaching themselves. ‘It’s your money. Why wait for it?’ says the tempting slogan on one such lending bank’s website, offering to accept guaranteed future income as a security for loans.
Money won’t solve all your problems
The lesson in all of this is that while a sudden influx of money may genuinely solve some people’s problems, for many it can be their undoing. The difference lies in whether they have the personal structure to be able to handle it or not.
And what do I mean by “structure”? I’m talking here about a very useful term coined by the Clairvision School. People who have structure know how to get things done. They have “a know-how of achieving” that comes from an ability to access superastral realms that lie above the level of ordinary mental consciousness.
These superastral realms are available to everyone and affect us all but few people know how to consciously tap into them and cognize them. And even if they do know how to do this, there is a steep learning curve to be able to do so with integrity. Richard and I have worked with a number of individuals over the years who have amassed wealth but their lack of integrity meant it did not bring them joy. Helping them to bring more integrity to their lives is what turned it around for them.
Navigating through life with integrity
Wealthy or not, learning to navigate through life with integrity is the single most important element within your control that determines the degree of happiness and fulfilment that you feel. The thousands of choices you make each day may not each seem important in themselves but together they determine the path you take, one step at a time.
Decluttering is very much involved in this, from sorting out your kitchen drawers to putting your entire life in order, one aspect at a time. What you say no to is equally as important as what you say yes to, which is why I define clutter clearing as ‘the art of restoring integrity to your life, one item or aspect at a time’.
The importance of setting the correct course
The Covid-19 pandemic caused many people to take stock of their life and the direction it was moving in. It gave each of us a unique opportunity to reset.
The 1-in-60 rule of air navigation illustrates how important setting the correct course at the outset can be. For every degree that a plane is off course, it will miss its destination by one mile for every 60 miles it flies. This can make a life or death difference to where it arrives and whether it lands safely or not.
Similarly, the decisions we make determine where we end up and what kind of life we will have. Navigating with integrity will take us where we need to go. Navigating from the basis of fear or greed can take us seriously off course.
The driving force in our old pre-Covid world was the accumulation of power and wealth. What do you want it to be in our new world?
Copyright © Clear Space Living Ltd 2020, revised 2023
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