5 Steps to Recognize that You Already Have It All

by Tess

How do you distract yourself from the delight, calm, and joy of the present moment?

How do you distract yourself from realizing you already have it all?

Nobody loves me…

I’ve gained 10 pounds…

I’m getting older…

I hate my job…

 Nobody listens to me…

The world leaders don’t know what they’re doing…

When I have ____________ I'll be happy.

Wanting what we don’t have is a distraction that steals our happiness.

Competing, criticizing, complaining, and comparing are about discontentment.

If we took all of the energy we put into distractions and decided to enjoy our lives, we would be different people and the world would be a better place.

I am enough. I have enough. I do enough. 

It’s our egos or lower selves that convince us otherwise. 

All forms of media shout at us daily that we are lacking in every way possible. 

In order to feel safe we must have something bigger, something better or we must do something different.

Anybody that has access to a computer and is reading this blog has their basic needs met.

The only thing lacking is our awareness of how much we have and our appreciation of it. 

When I find myself in a state of ‘wanting for more,’ there are several things I do to turn myself in a new direction.

Living in a state of lack and fear makes me miserable! 

The problem isn’t external. The problem lies within me. I cause my own misery. 

Yes it’s always me doing it to me.

It’s never my boss, teenager, spouse, friend, health, bank account, weight or age.

Nobody else has the power to keep me from realizing that I already have it all.

When I can own how blessed I am a more loving person, I take the high road, and I make my life a bold adventure. 

We spend large parts of our lives online reading and writing about how to grow personally and professionally. 

It’s not enough to read or write about it. Knowledge isn’t enough.

We all know.

It's necessary to practice what we know.  

Practice is a verb…practice slowing down, practice patience, practice appreciation, practice going the extra mile, practice minimalism.  

With enough practice you learn how to live in the present moment and be happy.

There is less of an urge to compete, compare, and strive. 

You realize you already have it all. 

The following 5 steps help me.

1. Create a daily spiritual practice.

2. Keep a gratitude journal. 

3. Seek support.

4. Simplify your life.

5. Serve others.

These steps are simple enough, but not easy.

Easy is talking, reading, and writing about living your best life.

Living a life of love is challenging. 

Why then should you bother?

Because that’s where your fulfillment and purpose lies.

That’s where you’ll find joy in the moment, instead a repeat of yesterday’s complaints and today's desires. 

That’s where you’ll learn to laugh and cry, to hurt and love, to live and grow.

And recognize you already have it all.

I have a guest post Katie Tallo's blog Momentum Gathering. If you haven't read her work you're in for a real treat!

{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

Paul Strobl September 5, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Great stuff! Gratutude is extremely powerful, and you can use it any time you like. While walking into a meeting you are dreading, “What am I grateful for about my job? About this office? About the people I work with? About my boss?” It can be a complete game-changer.

Keep up the great work, Tess!
Paul Strobl´s last post…Advice is a Gift


Tess September 5, 2011 at 9:09 pm

It sounds like you’ve had some practice with it. It’s the fastest way to get myself out of a slump. Always! Thanks for visiting my blog.


Chrissy @ Fireflies and Hummingbirds September 5, 2011 at 5:00 pm

Absolutely LOVE this post! Your 5 steps are incredible, and I couldn’t agree more! I like the way you think!

I wrote a post with a similar thought about “when I have _________, I’ll be happy” a few weeks ago.


Thanks for sharing! Have a great week!
Chrissy @ Fireflies and Hummingbirds´s last post…Happy Sunday To You


Tess September 5, 2011 at 9:13 pm

Hi Chrissy,
I just read your article, short and to the point! Life is something we often take for granted…I think partly because we’re human. Thanks for the reminder.


Marya | Writing Happiness September 5, 2011 at 5:02 pm

hey Tess. :) Great post.

What I do to remind myself that I have it all? Always remember that …

I am healthy.
I am blessed to have loving family and friends by my side.
I am lucky to be living in a loving, secure home.
I am blessed to have a passion for reading, learning, writing and teaching. I know my true calling.
I am blessed with a mind that can think, create and deal with challenges that life throws at me.
In short I am at the self actualization stage of Maslows hierarchy of needs. What more could I want? I know that I can have it all – just not at the same time. :)
Marya | Writing Happiness´s last post…Give Your Blog a Complete Makeover – 18 Action Steps to a path of Blogging Success


Tess September 5, 2011 at 9:15 pm


Thanks for sharing with us how successful you’ve been with your personal growth. You’re a wonderful example for everyone. I appreciate your support!


Galen Pearl September 5, 2011 at 5:36 pm

Great steps. The Tao Te Ching says “He who knows enough is enough will always have enough.” Counting our blessings (or keeping a gratitude journal) grows contentment and satisfaction. I like your simple steps. Each one is an investment in joy for ourselves and others.
Galen Pearl´s last post…Look Out…It’s Contagious!


Tess September 5, 2011 at 9:16 pm

Thanks so much for your wonderful quote. I’m going to write it down on one of my index cards and carry it in my purse. When I’m waiting in line I’ll have these words of wisdom to ponder. Thanks for bringing your joy to my space!


Megan Bord September 5, 2011 at 6:03 pm

This is absolutely awesome, Tess, and you’re right: I don’t always remember that I already have it all. Sometimes I let myself get wrapped up in wanting more. I think “when will…” or “what if?” And those are “lack” moments.

The shift to abundance starts within. The instant I change my attitude to one of “I already have it all,” even MORE incredible things shows up. But as you said, it’s not just knowing something. It’s practicing it. Your steps are ones I read twice so I could let them sink in. I get lazy and I distract… People like you remind me to get back on track.

Thank you for this superb reminder – and in my favorite form, no less – a Tess-tastic LIST!


Tess September 5, 2011 at 9:18 pm

Don’t be too hard on yourself. You, Joy, and Evita are wise beyond your years. I’m grateful you’re all in my online life. I’m excited for your party, thank you for inviting me. Our relationships are taken to another level when we connect face to face.


Jen September 5, 2011 at 6:34 pm

I love this post! One point that you state so perfectly is that the moment is where we laugh, cry, hurt, and be happy……

It is true. We take a RISK to be living in the moment. Sometimes for me, when I am not living in the now, it is because I recognize that life fully lived sometimes means that we feel EVERY emotion….hurt and pain included. But such an important emotion, to heal and help make the bright and beautiful days of life all the more fulfilling and purposeful!

I always have a lot to reflect on after visiting your site! It’s nice to be back!
Thanks Tess…..
Jen Slayden
Jen´s last post…The Water is Wide


Tess September 5, 2011 at 9:20 pm

You make a good point on why we avoid the present moment. When I slow my pace it’s easier to be in the now and go with the flow. We cheat ourselves when we don’t give ourselves the beauty of the present.


Lance September 5, 2011 at 8:02 pm

…”I am enough”…those three words speak volumes. And when I “see” that in me, I am that – I am enough. And the moments become more meaningful.

And that’s the thing – when the moments become more meaningful, I am more filled with love and gratitude. And when I’m filled with more love and gratitude – I am more openly sharing of that love and gratitude….

…and what a wonderful cycle that is!!

Thanks Tess, for such uplifting words today!
Lance´s last post…Endings… and New Beginnings


Tess September 5, 2011 at 9:21 pm

I’m so happy to be in that cycle of gratitude and love with you. Thanks for being my friend! xo


Cathy | Treatment Talk September 5, 2011 at 8:17 pm

Hi Tess,

Wonderful post as always and great reminder to live our lives with joy. I love your 5 Steps. We can all put those in a prominent place to read everyday!!


Tess September 5, 2011 at 9:22 pm

It’s funny how what is good for one is good for all, isn’t it. Thanks for supporting me and visiting Katie’s blog as well. I appreciate your support.


David Stevens September 5, 2011 at 8:34 pm

Hi Tess,
Thank you. I’m up for the challenge.
be good to yourself


Tess September 5, 2011 at 9:23 pm


Your joy adds more joy to everyone’s life. Your welcome.


Vishnu September 5, 2011 at 9:24 pm

Tess – clever – If we all realized this, we would be content and would not want more – and would not suffer. Clever because you’ve taken years of ancient wisdom and reduced it to a blog post and given practical tips to get there. Thanks so much.


Tess September 6, 2011 at 10:27 am

I’ve not thought of it as being clever. I decided it would be best to give the steps that I do, without giving myself credit. If I skip No.1 more than two or three days in a row, my happiness is out of reach. Thanks so much for letting me know what you think. I appreciate it.


Steve Marquez September 6, 2011 at 1:09 am

What a lovely post Tess and a great reminder.

It’s all to easy to forget what we do have and focus on what we want. Truth is, as you say, we all have everything we need right here, right now and all the answers lie within.

Gratitude is a great way of realising this.

The five steps are great – I practice most of them – but you hit the nail right on the head when you said it’s easy to read or talk about them – the key, and the hard work bit, is actually doing them.

Steve Marquez´s last post…The Great Escape: the real cost of debt


Tess September 6, 2011 at 10:29 am

Yes and for me just because I’ve practiced something for years doesn’t mean I can quit or go on vacation. It’s a lifetime of practicing. When I don’t practice, I pay a price!


Angela Artemis|Powered by Intuition September 6, 2011 at 5:42 am

Hi Tess,
This was marvelous~
We do already have it all. Why do we allow our emotions to be stirred up by thinking we need more?
What a great wake up call – and just what I needed to hear.
Thank you – thank you dear friend.
Angela Artemis|Powered by Intuition´s last post…Giving Up The Illusion of Control When Things Don’t Go Your Way


Tess September 6, 2011 at 10:33 am

Your welcome! I needed to hear it as well;)


pea September 6, 2011 at 6:25 am

A very beautiful, simple message. For me, it helped that I had traveled the world to some extent, seeing poverty of all levels to realize this simple thing, but however one gets there, it’s a good place to get to.

Tess, of course there are many things imperfect about our world and the way we are treated by others, or indeed some people may be at an unhealthy weight. Do you not think there is room to acknowledge the raw dissatisfaction that brings about change (political or personal) and how would you balance this with your message in this post?
pea´s last post…Donna Karan’s Manhattan Apartment


Tess September 6, 2011 at 10:37 am

Good question. I think all change has to begin with love and the right intention. Maybe no. 6 would be:
Be gentle and loving with yourself and others
Thanks for making me think. Hope this makes sense.


Christopher September 6, 2011 at 11:13 am

You’re talking about two very different roads here Tess. One road, where we start with the notion that we are lacking something important and we must work hard to get it, leads to unhappiness. But start even a little way along the other road, humble enough and strong enough to acknowledge we are already whole and already have it all in the sense of all that is truly worthwhile — and what a miracle unfolds.
With you in this exciting journey. Thanks. And thank you so much for the email you just sent me. So helpful and reassuring.


Tess September 6, 2011 at 5:02 pm

I’m all about miracles in my life! Thanks for you kind words and I look forward to growing together on our blogging journey. xo


John Sherry September 6, 2011 at 12:52 pm

Tess, what’s written between the lines is ‘keep it simple’. You focus on the simple and serene and when we do the same magic appears and the fog lifts. Confuscus said thousands of years ago, “Life is simple. It is us who complicates it”. Seems nothing has changed in all that time.
John Sherry´s last post…Making Dynamic Decisions


Tess September 6, 2011 at 5:04 pm


Isn’t that something how Truth never changes…even thousands of years later. I stray from the path less than ever but I never underestimate the power of my ego;)
So I don’t want to get too sassy.


Marci | Liberating Choices September 6, 2011 at 1:29 pm

Tess, I love this one! Thinking of wanting what we don’t have as a distraction is brilliant way to remember to be in the moment. And, so true that it’s not just having the idea, it’s how you make it happen that makes the difference.
Marci | Liberating Choices´s last post…What To Do When You Can’t Sleep


Tess September 6, 2011 at 5:05 pm

Who knows that better than we therapists, eh? Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your light and kind words on my blog.


Evelyn Lim September 6, 2011 at 7:23 pm

I enjoyed your post because I resonated so well with what you have shared. I turn to a list of things that I do whenever I find myself in some kind of funk. So it may be expressing my gratitude, watching a comedy or going for brisk walk. These activities help me to shift the state of my mind. Thank you for a great reminder about staying focused on the present!!
Evelyn Lim´s last post…Let Your Inspired Dreams Take Flight


Ken Wert September 6, 2011 at 10:21 pm

I love this, Tess!
I love the message, the way it was written, the tone, and the steps! All excellent!
My personal favorite is the call to service. You are so right that we can talk about living a certain way – express gratitude, overcoming trials, forgive, love and stretch and grow in so many ways. But they are all dead words (at least to ourselves) if we leave them on the page.

Thank you for the inspiring words to shut down the computer and go do what we preach!
Ken Wert´s last post…22 Lessons Learned “When Sorrow Walked with Me”


Steve M Nash September 7, 2011 at 8:13 am

Thank you, Tess, for saying what needs to be said (to us all) in such a concise and punchy way! I shall share this page now, in the hope that many others will find ‘the answer’ to their ‘today problems’ within… :-)

Steve M Nash´s last post…Sep 6, Quotes About Relationships – Relationship Quotes, Passion Quotes, Inspirational Life Quotes & More…


Chris Barba September 8, 2011 at 6:44 am

So true Tess.

This is something I try to come to terms with on a daily basis. We are always going to want more and want what we don’t have.

I read a very interesting perspective in a book that said today majority of us live with the same amount of luxuries as a prince did 2,500 years ago. But now there are a whole different context of luxuries and so a came to realize it is not about the material ownership of these highly sought after things, its the fact that we want to we don’t have.

I love the idea of keeping a gratitude journal. I’m thinking about merging the photo of the day idea and that one to take a picture of something I’m grateful for each day.

Thanks for the awesome ideas Tess!


Riya September 9, 2011 at 3:56 am

Hey Tess,
Lovely Post! And I truly agree with you.. everything that we think we need is already residing within us! it’s just our own conscious thinking/choice that make us powerless when we CHOOSE to think about such distracting thoughts! In fact i wrote a similar post just a few days back. It talks about realizing your own power!


Hope you enjoy it :) I am still in my ameteur phase of writing though ;)
God bless :)
Riya´s last post…Realize Your Power!!!!


Edward September 9, 2011 at 10:03 am

The problem why most people suffer is because of their pride and their denial that they need others. No man is an island. And no matter how strong we are, we need someone’s help sometimes. It is hard for me to accept that I am vulnerable, I could do it but I would need some practice though.
Edward´s last post…how to flirt with a girl


Betsy at Zen Mama September 9, 2011 at 10:05 am

I somehow missed this post! Love the picture you found. And also this sentence: “How do you distract yourself from realizing you already have it all?” I often remind myself that it’s comparison that leads to jealousy and bad feelings. If you don’t compare, then you are usually satisfied with your life.
Betsy at Zen Mama´s last post…Forget About Waldo, Where Am I?


Tess September 6, 2011 at 10:32 am


When we allow ourselves to become vulnerable, we can give ourselves permission to ask for help. Humans are meant for connection. Think about the people you trust the most…call one the next time you need help.

There are countless support groups online and off. I think it takes courage to seek it out. Once you can do that, try a few different groups. Shop around. Stick to one you like.


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