The One Skill I Kept Practicing To Save My Life

If I had bad grades, my dad would hit me. Later, when I was thrown out of school, I lost my friends. When I was fired from a job, I became a recluse. When I was kicked out of my business, I lost my home.

When I lost my home, I was ashamed to tell my friends. I hid. When I was afraid to lose money, I spend more and more time traveling for business. I lost a marriage. I lost my kids.

I kept trying to do the things we HAD to do. School, safe job, grow older, stay married. I wanted to do all these things. But I kept messing up and getting depressed.

It never stops. You have to go to that wedding. You have to buy a home and have roots. You have to send your kid (she used to be just a baby!) to college. You have to return those five phone calls. You have to…you have to…you have to.

After so many “have tos” I sometimes found myself googling “suicide without anyone being aware of it” because then the insurance company won’t know and will do the full payout to… my kids. Because my kids have to… and have to… and have to… and it costs money.

I don’t like to give advice. I just say “this works for me.”

Like when your therapist tells you to do something (“don’t go out with that woman!”) and you do it and you have to break up with the therapist for awhile but then you get back together with her when the relationships is over.

(Hmm. That was a strange tangent.)


OK, I did this:

Every day take out a piece of paper and draw a vertical line down the middle.

At the top of the left side is the HAVES. At the top of the right side is the WANTS.

I want to write. I have to make some business calls. I want to spend time with my friends tonight. I have to go to a networking dinner. Etc.

Each day write down your HAVES and write down your WANTS.

Sometimes they are the same thing. If they are, then erase it from the HAVES list. WANTS > HAVES.

Every day, try to make the WANTS list a tiny bit bigger than the HAVES list. The SKILL is having the ability to do that.

Sometimes you can change a “HAVE” to a “WANT.” That’s OK also. But make sure you are being honest with yourself. Like, “I have to take care of a parent” becomes, “I want to take care of a parent.”

It takes a long time. You can write notes on the bottom. What would it take to remove just one have. What would it take to add one WANT.

And some WANTS are greater than other wants.

Maybe I won’t binge watch “House of Cards” tonight so I can work on the children’s book I want to do.

Maybe I won’t make that business call I feel I have to make. Let’s see what happens.

Skills aren’t easy to learn. They take time. They take resilience when things go wrong. They take discipline.

No skill lives in a vacuum. Be healthy, sleep well, practice creativity, be around good people, be grateful. This makes it easier to have more wants than haves.

I want to feel creative today (and maybe even make money from that creativity). I want to be around friends today. I want to kiss someone today. Maybe two out of three of this isn’t so bad.

  • Kristi Jones

    How i win my husband back.Am Kristi Jones from USA.I never believed that i could finally get back the happiness and the love that was gone after my husband left me totally. I couldn’t just believe that spells and magic could turn my thoughts and my dreams into reality in getting back with my husband after he served me with divorce papers.. my ex husband after the divorce never showed up to me and the kids anymore, he finally made up his mind on me and said it was over. 3 years after our divorce, i was still out trying to get him back and i did all that i knew best could make him happy, and my mum and everybody around just advised i should forget about him and move on with my life, because they felt he was gone forever and was never gonna return. But i never gave up on trying to get him back, because i so much loved him beyond what anybody could ever imagine. I met a spell caster, and what drew my attention most was the fact that this spell caster was from Africa when i contacted Dr.ATIAFO And that so much gave me the assurance because i have heard much more on how he has helped a lot of people… and with the help that Dr.ATIAFO rendered to me, he saved my marriage and reunited me and my ex husband back together again with his powerful spells. Thank you so much Dr.ATIAFO for your help in reuniting me and my husband again, if not for you, my life would have permanently turned out to b a mess. His mail: atitafospelltemple@yahoo.com .OR YOU CAN ALSO ADD HIM UP ON WHATSAPP USING THIS MOBILE NUMBER+2347067607073….

    • Julia Stempko

      Kristi, thank you so much for sharing your story. Where in the US are you from? Where did you meet an African spell caster??? I can’t believe his has an app. Thank goodness. That’s amazing. Ancient medicine has come so far. Why use my valuable time writing down ideas, exercising, learning new skills, and improving my emotional IQ when I can just download an app and speak to a real life shaman from Africa!?!

  • Steve

    This article spoke to me.

    Today I realized that I haven’t been around the people I love to be around. I’ve been focusing my time towards money to survive and prorate for college next year and time with people that make me happy haven’t been the priority.

    For that I’m somewhat suffering. My ability to talk to people is declining and my “friendships” aren’t feeling like one.

    This explains a lot of why I’m experiencing this feeling. I’ve been focusing on the “haves” of my list instead of the “wants” naturally.

    • GH

      Thank you, Steve. I was having trouble understanding James distinction between wants and haves. Your comment suddenly made it clear.

      • Julia Stempko

        That’s awesome.

  • Life is about being able to create the right balance between your “haves” and “wants”. Beyond these two, life is also about accepting your abilities – your “can dos” and “can’t dos”. When your “haves” and “wants” collide with your “can’t dos”, it generates lot of discomfort and discontent. So the secret of a peaceful and happy life is reaching that stage in your life where your “haves” and “wants” are aligned with your “can dos”.

  • JH

    James, you keep writing articles about wanting to be kissed, including ones about random strangers (it was in the past few months!). I think any positivity returned are kisses and hugs from the universe. And maybe Claudia needs more kisses too!

  • Julia Stempko

    It’s so simple. Ride the wave and then get back out there. An object in motion…

  • Kristi Jones

    How i win my husband back.Am Kristi Jones from USA.I never believed that i could finally get back the happiness and the love that was gone after my husband left me totally. I couldn’t just believe that spells and magic could turn my thoughts and my dreams into reality in getting back with my husband after he served me with divorce papers.. my ex husband after the divorce never showed up to me and the kids anymore, he finally made up his mind on me and said it was over. 3 years after our divorce, i was still out trying to get him back and i did all that i knew best could make him happy, and my mum and everybody around just advised i should forget about him and move on with my life, because they felt he was gone forever and was never gonna return. But i never gave up on trying to get him back, because i so much loved him beyond what anybody could ever imagine. I met a spell caster, and what drew my attention most was the fact that this spell caster was from Africa when i contacted Dr.ATIAFO And that so much gave me the assurance because i have heard much more on how he has helped a lot of people… and with the help that Dr.ATIAFO rendered to me, he saved my marriage and reunited me and my ex husband back together again with his powerful spells. Thank you so much Dr.ATIAFO for your help in reuniting me and my husband again, if not for you, my life would have permanently turned out to b a mess. His mail: atitafospelltemple@yahoo.com .OR YOU CAN ALSO ADD HIM UP ON WHATSAPP USING THIS MOBILE NUMBER+2347067607073….

  • merico

    A
    principios de junio de este año, he perdido a alguien muy importante y
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    niño, pero me trató muy mal y llena el divorcio, y así fue como me dejó
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    puedo dar un vistazo testigo de todo el universo que mi marido volvió a
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    spellsolutionhome @ hotmail.com

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