“Whoa!!!! Where in the world is he going with THIS one?!!?” you say. Don’t panic. I’m not getting ready to talk about religion or anything outlandishly controversial. In fact, Anthony De Mello once called spirituality “the most practical thing in the whole wide world . . . not piety, not devotion, not religion, not worship, but spirituality — waking up.”
In fact, in reality spirituality has very little to do with religion. There are many religious and pious people out there who are not particularly spiritual and who express very little if any spiritual self-awareness. On the other hand, I’ve met many spiritual and spiritually curious people who have little or nothing to do with any organized religion.
But what does spirituality have to do with success?
First of all, let’s get the idea out of our mind that success is exclusively related to making more money and driving hot sports cars and living in dream homes in the tropics. True success is much more about personal satisfaction, about living a life that is filled with happiness and joy. It’s about discovering your passion and living a passion- and purpose-driven life. It’s knowing your reason for being and centering all you do around fulfilling that passion or purpose. It’s about coming to the winter of your life and being able to sit back and say, “Yeah, wasn’t that a nice ride!”
Our personal spirituality, the perpetual quest of discovering who we are at our very core, is what leads us to finding our true passion, our purpose, that leads us to do those things that are genuinely fulfilling not only for ourselves but for those around us. It’s about becoming more aware of ourselves at the deepest level of human existence, about how we are connected with everything and everyone around us and with whatever “higher power” we may accept or recognize as a reality in our life.
When Eckhart Tolle was at the depth of depression and on the verge of suicide in his late twenties, he found himself sitting on the edge of his bed one night saying he just couldn’t go on living with himself any longer; and in this a question arose without an answer: who is the ‘I’ that cannot live with my self? What is the self?
That “self”, he began to discover, was what we often refer to as the ego, the physical self that is all caught up in thoughts of the past and future and so often filled with worry about things that may or may not have actually been true or which may or may not ever come true. The “I” on the other hand, was that part of us that exists far outside the mere physical and knows where our true purpose and passions lie.
I love the saying that we are not physical beings trying to have a spiritual experience, but rather spiritual beings in the process of having a physical experience.
So . . . I pose this question . . .
How is your spirituality affecting your success?
What is the real connection between spirituality and your success? Spirituality, I believe, is about discovering that “I” portion of ourselves, that side of ourselves that sees all and knows all because it’s not limited by the five senses. Unless and until we begin to discover and become more aware of the “I” of us, we must ask ourselves how we can ever truly become successful in the sense I described above. I heard someone say that we live our lives as if we are looking at nothing more than a small radar screen and all we can see is what’s on that screen, when 99.9% of what is actually going on and affecting us is outside that radar screen. “Myself” is unable to perceive that 99%, but “I” can. It’s a matter of getting in better touch with “I” and letting “I” lead myself in the right direction for my life.
How one goes about doing that is extremely personal, which I think is the beauty of the whole thing. Certainly we can, and probably should, utilize the assistance of others of somewhat like mind, but when it comes right down to it, the choices we make, the directions we take with our personal development journey are as unique as the number of us who walk this planet.
Where are you on your own quest to discover your inner self — that unique “I”? Are you truly living the life that you feel is right for you? Are you headed in a direction that is leading to pure satisfaction and contentment? Or are you doing things and thinking things and believing things simply because that’s what you’ve been taught and encouraged to do, believe and think? Is doing the latter leading you toward the life you truly desire?
I would never claim to have the answer for you. I simply pose the question for you to ponder . . . are you defined by what you do and how “successful” you are, or define success and do what you do based on who you are?
Here’s to a life of gratitude, success, happiness and prosperity ~
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