1977 Mercedes Benz 450 SL Feeling Guilty? I’m sure you have come across people in your life who have been outright mean and cold to you. (unless you are a hermit)

Starting from an early age, and to varying degrees, we all have received poor treatment. In some cases, maybe you needed a bit of a stick that day. However, it should only be a reminder of change, not the creation of guilt or depression.

Sure, one could say that it is not fair, and that the folks who treat you that way should receive a long house-arrest themselves.

Truth be told, it’s life. We all have our ups and downs. It’s why the airplanes fly – without gravity, we’d all be really bad off.

However, if you let it affect you, and in worse ways than the next one, you are setting yourself up for disaster. You need to learn how to balance it, and see it as the cycle of everybody’s life. It’s how you deal with it that counts.

And, as you grow and acquire more things (physical & spiritual) – here’s what you must do for a truly wealthy life:

You must learn to give and receive alike – and not feel bad about it.

My “shame”

I remember a time, not too long ago (mid 90’s) when I had worked hard and invested some money that afforded me a classic Mercedes 450SL convertible. I was living in Santa Monica, California at the time, and I felt truly blessed. However, because of my earlier programming, input from friends, family, teachers and environment – I didn’t actually drive it for about 2 weeks. I parked it in the garage, and drove my (other car) truck instead.

Sure, I had struggled and and worked hard to get it, felt like I deserved it – but something just held me back. I remember a friend back in the home country who had a nice car, and I wished someday I could have one too. And, when I did — I “hid” it. I didn’t even tell my closest friends. I would sit and eat food, drink and laugh inside the apartment, knowing that the gorgeous car sat in the garage – and me just itchin’ to tell them about my new acquisition. Again, no – didn’t want them to think that I was “above” them.

Don’t judge me

So Jealous
Image via Wikipedia

Even though they were friends, I didn’t want them to get jealous, or to judge me poorly. I felt like I might be seen as a “show off”.  Plus, neighbors would see me pull out of the garage with the top down, music blaring – and I didn’t want them to talk badly about me either.  It might be better if I showed a bit of humility – and act as if I was broke, defeated and depressed. At least then, I would be like them – and we could all feel a little sadder…

The above sounds both serious and sad. Yes, it kinda’ was at the time, but it changed quickly.

A new person abruptly entered my life. I fell in love (she did too – who wouldn’t with a car like that ;-)) – and I sure wanted to show her. We drove around Los Angeles, sun shining, big smiles on our faces, and I was literally beaming! It set me free of this (ignorant) pain. And, it turned out that my friends thought it was awesome. How did you do it, they said – I was in shock and awe of the situation.  (But, the neighbors never did change – and still live at that same apartment complex, very much cautiously peering out from behind their curtains when anything ‘new’ is happening).

That was a long time ago – but it has served me as a great lesson over the years.

Are you apologizing (still)?

In your life, as you work hard to reach goals and receive rewards for your contribution, don’t hide or hold back. Others will see you as winner too (perhaps not a first) – and they’ll want to have what you have.

  • Don’t apologize for the goodness you have
  • It’s infectious – show them what you have, and that they can get/have it too
  • Quit and break out the poverty mindset. If you think poor, you sure will be exactly that
  • Enlarge your vision, and shake off any guilt
  • Make a declaration that this year will be the best year ever – and then take action to make it so

Shooting for the stars

H23 BB00934850 * ...my $100 'star note'
Image by TheAlieness GiselaGiardino²³ via Flickr

It’s ok to have a nice car, a nice house, and that you can afford to give your children and family a nice inheritance.

In closing, it is really about this: This is not to show how great or awesome YOU are, but what your work and dedication has given you and that can be an inspiration to others. Teach people to do the same, do better, and go experience the best that life has to offer.

It’ll take you to places you never dreamed of!


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Entrepreneur Magazine says Jon Rognerud is one of the most sought-after Digital Marketing Experts. His clients extend from high-end brands and middle-tier businesses in both B2B and B2C. His SEO website optimization book, "The Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Website" from Entrepreneur Press is in bookstores now.