WHY YOUR LIFE SUC.KS
By Alan Cohen One afternoon an official-looking fellow
showed up at my door and flashed an I.D. from the
water department. "I just read your water meter," he
told me, "and I have to inform you that you have an
unusually high usage this month."
"Yes, sir - about four times the usual amount."
"That's right. Here are the numbers."
I looked at the numbers. He wasn't kidding.
"It's our policy to let you know about this in case
you have any leaks in your water system."
Hmmm. No leaks I knew of. Maybe my tenant has been
taking a lot of showers, I wondered. But 80,000
gallons of showers? Nope, he doesn't even wash his
dishes. I thanked the waterman and told him I'd try to
conserve this month and hope the bill would come down
A few days later I was sitting on my back porch when I
noticed a puddle in the corner of the yard. That
puddle had been there for a while, but I figured it
was due to some heavy rain we'd had. But the rest of
the lawn had dried up. The puddle was still there.
I poked my hand into the puddle. There was a pipe
beneath it, and it was leaking. I can tell you exactly
how much it was leaking: 80,000 gallons a month.
If you are losing energy in the form of joy, health,
money, or love, you have a leak in your system. There
is no malevolent parasite that has invaded your world
and is undermining you. Your leak is on your property,
and as such you have access to repair it.
The entire game of life is about making the best use
of your energy. The question is not, "Is there life
after death?" The question is, "Is there life before
death?" To answer this for yourself - and live it -
you must quit doing things that deplete your energy
and start doing things that expand it. Moses delivered
Ten Commandments that point to how to accomplish this,
but (a) Nobody wants to be commanded; (b) Charlton
Heston's bad makeup job undermined Moses' credibility;
and (c) Nobody has enough patience on the Internet to
wait for ten commandments to download. So here is
everything you need to know to relocate from
Do what brings you life.
Do not do what deadens you.
The reason you are not where you want to be is that
you are doing things you do not want to do. If that
sounds simple, it is. (One of the most popular tricks
of power and control freaks is to hide in complexity.
But the best answer to a problem is usually the
simplest.) Sure, there are some things you have to do
that you don't want to do, but not as many as you are
doing. Give yourself a break.
If you took the energy you are wasting on things that
and used it for things you love, what would you be
When you invest your time and energy in stuff that
drags you down, you die a little bit every day. Then
your life force reduces to a dribble and you croak.
Yet the Bible documents people who lived for hundreds
of years, and there are people in remote regions today
who live far past 100. Their lives are simpler and
they do not fritter away their life force watching
people hit each other over the head with chairs on
Jerry Springer. They just live close to nature, eat
yogurt, and develop meaningful relationships with
llamas. So open your heart to a critter who won't dump
you on national television and you will live long
enough to get a birthday card from the President.
While you may be very careful about what you pay for
with your money, you are probably less careful about
what you pay for with your attention. In the long run,
how you spend your attention affects your life far
more profoundly than how you spend your money. Your
attention is the strongest currency at your disposal.
If you squander it, your life will result in one big
overdraft. If you invest it in things you value, you
will collect interest big time - and be interested
along the way.
Everything you do is an investment in more of the
same. The illusion is that if you do something you
don't like long enough, it will go away. But the truth
is that the more you get involved in something, the
more involvement it leads to. (Ever own a boat?) If
you truly enjoy something, dive in. If not, have the
guts to walk away from what doesn't serve you. There
is no redeeming value in misery (unless you do
timeshare presentations) . The hell you worry about
going to is not nearly as bad as the fear of it that
drives you to do things alien to your spirit. If you
live from fear, you already are in hell. If you live
from love, you create the meeting point of heaven and
* * * * * * * *
This article is a sneak preview from Alan Cohen's new
breakthrough book, Why Your Life Sucks and What You
Can Do About It, to be released this June by Jodere
Group, Inc. To order your copy of Why Your Life Sucks,
visit your local bookstore or log on to
www.amazon.com. For a free catalog of Alan's books,
tapes, and seminars, or to receive his free
newsletter, email admin@alancohen. com, phone
1-800-462-3013, or write: P.O. Box 835, Haiku, HI
96708. Visit Alan's web site at www.alancohen. com.