Thursday, October 11, 2018
Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but rather we have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit. Aristotle We can often do more for others by trying to correct our own faults than by trying to correct theirs. Francois Fenelo In our fear-based world there are many rules. Most of these are designed around the idea of survival. The interesting thing is that no one is going to survive. Nevertheless our instruction is to focus on the future, plan for it, and save for it. There is nothing inherently wrong with putting money aside and not spending every penny you make on sensory gratification (cars, costumes, accruements, chocolate). What is wrong is the continual focus on the future that keeps you from being present NOW. ure, if there is one, comes out of the present. What you do, think, and act on today will extend into tomorrow. But often by making the future the goal, we don’t invest in the present - our own state of affairs – what we are doing, accepting, and believing right now. This article is called get your ego out of the way for a reason. It is your egoic self (personality and sense of separateness from everyone and everything else) that has adopted a set of beliefs that keeps you focused in the past (guilt, remorse, why did I do that, say that, etcetera) and in the future (what if this or that happens) which, more than likely, will never happen anyway. Either way you are not present NOW. Thus we do our tribal planning for the traditional life - safe, comfortable, normal, not necessarily innovative, expansive or love-focused. People become entranced with their tribal traditions. (This could mean Germans do this, Italians believe that. Latinos follow these customs and Aborigines follow those. Some dance at funerals, while other are somber. Some groups believe you are to put food out for the dead, and others rotate crops in a particular way, or celebrate when the rain comes. Some might worship a rock and others believe it is important to sacrifice a goat to insure prosperity. These are tribal customs and beliefs. Man made them up; God did not. Every person has a dream. Something in their soul – a desire, an image, a hunch, a special interest, that is the key to their soul’s desire. But many are afraid to give it credence because it doesn’t fit the society norm r expectations of the traditional life – college, marriage, buy a home, children, good job, 401K, pension, retirement, die. We laud people who put their children first and deny their own happiness without realizing what consequences that particular model sets up for the kids. (Either entitlement or continued sacrifice.) Thus the pattern continues and the tribe expands and the beliefs get stronger. Then someone, a maverick perhaps, steps out of the tribal circle and says, I choose to go my own way and follow my dream. So he skips college, digs into his interest, perhaps starts a business, invents something, becomes an artist or musician, or nomad, develops a product, or innovates in some way. He begins his soul journey. This is a precarious position because when he changes the norms, he gets to deal with the ego and all its judgments. In other words, the maverick (or you) better stay strong, focused, and undeterred. Here is how it works. Your Inner Guide (Soul, Spirit, the Universe, God) is not happenstance. To be sure, you are not given a desire without also having the inherent talent and ability to fulfill it. Thus in stepping from the tribal group, and getting ready to be outrageous, you must be ready to take Spirit as your partner. It is your friend, comfort, and stability. This means that you as this innovative maverick no longer needs to heed useless traditional thinking and beliefs that serve no purpose or benefit anyone. That’s right – no more goat sacrifices and you can rotate the crops whatever way makes sense to you. Now, the independent maverick can give full focus to the urgings of the soul. That is when anything is possible. Authors, Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hanson’s book, Chicken Soup for the Soul was rejected 144 times before a publisher finally read it, loved it, and published it. They did not doubt their vision or determination to get their book published. Their idea was to sell over a million copies by the second year of publication. They held no limitation as to its popularity. As it happened, Chicken Soup for the Soul was re-written into 149 variations and sold all over the world. It ultimately became a billion dollar industry. Yet they were told NO a lot. Another incredibly popular book, Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach went through the same process. It was rejected numerous times and finally published to become a New York Times Bestseller for many weeks. Many years later it is still a well-read book about living your dream. The issue, as you can imagine, is that visionaries create and often it is the traditional folks with their eye on the bottom line, who make the decisions. Yet, with persistence, someone gets the message and is willing to invest. We are continually faced with decisions large and small. All are important because they set you up for fulfilling your dream and your purpose in life. Think of each as another step along your journey. Marissa worked at a corporation for 30 years. This company had been bought and sold several times and with each new management team the corporate environment got darker, more demanding, and more negative. Because Marissa was a loyal person, took pride in her work, and wanted to stay at the company until she retired, she stayed and stayed and accommodated every change and each new leader until she finally broke under the pressure and quit her job. For over 30 years Marissa had practically walked on water to get her job done. She had become a human dynamo with accrued skills, talents, resources, and a huge database of associates all available for her own use. Yet, because she had stayed so long and was so loyal to them instead of herself, she had sacrificed her health and her energy and spirit was depleted. After about a year away from the turmoil, Marissa was feeling stronger, healthier and beginning to retrieve her energy. This is when she began playing around developing a logo and idea for a small business. She wanted to help people create ease and beauty in their homes and lives. It was to be a service business providing assistance with gardening, party planning, sprucing up people’s homes, getting organized, and other such things. Her timing was impeccable and the concept had incredible potential. The problem was that Marissa saw it only as a nice little side business while she envisioned herself as an employee working in another corporation and continuing to fund her 401K. Marissa had programmed her mind to be at the mercy of employers when she had the skills to be an entrepreneur. Another problem was that Marissa was smarter, savvier, and more talented than the requirement of the positions she sought. She no longer fit in to those jobs. Her tribal beliefs were: you work hard for someone else, put others first, pay off your house, and put money away and some day you will get to live. In other words, her attention was focused on everyone and everything other than herself and definitely not in the present moment. Marissa was so locked into traditional thinking, she did not even realize that she had a dream – her own business – and she also had the tools and resources to make it successful. When I saw her, she was devastated that she had failed at finding a new corporate job and she was mortified that she had been unable to fund her retirement for a whole year. In her mind, she was a failure! Marissa lived in the future in “good girl” mentality – in the ego. She had to step out of her grief to see the bigger picture. In her life she had asked for guidance from God, Jesus, and all things spiritual. Yet, when the guidance came she could not recognize it because it did not fit her picture. What she was really asking for was guidance to continue in her traditional way. Guess what, God/ the Universe does not hold man’s traditions sacred. It is not the way Spirit works. You want help – here is help. That job is not for you; nor that one, or that one. All was not gloom and doom in that there were people waiting to help Marissa. She had to get her pride (ego) out of the way. Finally she woke up to the understanding that God/ Spirit/ Universe had been assisting her all along the way. She had received answers to her prayers. She had created the dream, the resources and the customer base to manifest a wildly successful business and have a blast doing it. She finally got to work for someone who could and would appreciate her expertise – herself. The moral of the story is God has Its own solutions and ways of helping. Don’t go to God and declare I want this and it has to happen this way and with that person. Because you just might hear giant peals of laughter rolling through the heavens. Bottom line: God’s way is a better way. Get your ego out of the way. Jean Walters is a best selling author, Transformational Coach, and Akashic Reader. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 314 991 8439. Have a great day!