Saving for Retirement - Why not Plant a Garden?

By: Harold L Lowe

As I wrote an earlier article entitled My Story, I grew up in a small farming town in Southeastern Arkansas. One of the things I grew to love was vegetable gardening. Beginning in early Spring and going into Fall, you can find me planting and/or cultivating something. This activity became a great learning tool for me as I began my journey to more of what I wanted from life. To me, gardening is analogous to saving for retirement.

First of all, I have to decide what vegetables I want to harvest from my garden. That decision dictates what kinds of seeds to purchase. I have to enter into negotiations with my wife to determine how much space I can allocate to the garden. I have to prepare the soil by removing unwanted weeds, grasses and debris; and adding appropriate nutrients and conditioners. I have to decide how much space to allow for each kind of vegetable. Finally I have to prepare the rows and plant the respective seeds.

You may remember in an earlier article I mentioned that many people, perhaps you are one of them, have difficulty determining what they want to improve in their lives. To help with this decision, I suggested the preparation of a "do not want" list; a list of things, people and conditions that are not wanted now nor in the future. That list might include "a shortage of money", "critical and non-supportive people", and "beliefs that are limiting". A "do want" list would be just the opposite, item by item, of the "do not want" list and would include such wants as "an abundance of money", "people that are inspirational and supportive", or "beliefs that are expansive and aligned with what you do want".

Why not consciously plant a garden in your mind? The "do want" list should be used to determine the thought "seeds" to plant and care for in your mind and the harvest to expect in your experiences. I would hope that somewhere on the "do want" list is an increased capacity for saving for retirement and to live more of the life you want to live now. The "do not want" list is synonymous with weeds, grasses, and debris that must be "removed" from the garden of your mind. In reality, "do not want" thoughts and images are never literally removed. Your job, as it were, is to switch your focus away from them to the "do want" thoughts and images.

As you continue directing your focus to "do want" thoughts and images, their influence on conditions you experience increases, and the "do not want" thoughts and images gradually lose their ability to influence what conditions you harvest. The cultivation of positive thoughts, images, feelings, and emotions are the nutrients and conditioners that foster a bountiful harvest; and since your mind has no barriers, you are free to plant as many seeds of as many varieties as you desire.

A major difference between a garden in the ground and a garden in the mind is the speed at which un-wanted weeds and grasses tend to return. In the soil, the return will usually take several days. In the garden of the mind, un-wanted thoughts and images can return in seconds to attempt to have you focus on them. Therefore, it is vitally important to continually have effective tools in your possession to help you switch from the un-wanted to the wanted thoughts and images.

When I'm asked which tool I would recommend to someone who is new to this kind of information, I hesitantly suggest a combination of the rubber band and overwhelm techniques. Even though I've had equal success with the all three tools I introduced in a previous article, I was recently reminded that there is a law of physics, The Law of Inertia, which is very much at work in human affairs. To paraphrase, one part of this law states that a body at rest remains at rest until put into motion by some force. The other part of the law states that a body in motion remains in motion until opposed by some force. I'll have more on this in my next article.

Remember, you do not have to live on less in retirement. No matter where you are right now financially, you can build and enjoy a Million Dollar Lifestyle Retirement.

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