What ‘success’ means is unique and personal to each of us. Yet most of us still live in a society where success is determined by what ‘people out there’ have decided success is. In fact, an inward feeling (often hidden) of 'not feeling good enough’ because of ‘what other people will think’ is one of the most common concerns that I see amongst awakening people. Personal worth is still frequently measured by what we have to show for what we’ve done - material goods, exams passed, property gained, certificates achieved, goals attained or targets reached. And by far the biggest determining factor of success is the degree to which a person is validated and approved by others.
If you don’t fall under any of these categories, then you are blessed!
The traditional success model is so deeply embedded in the collective human psyche, that it can be incredibly difficult to shake off - even for awakening souls. It's like one of those stubborn stains that just won’t go away, no matter how hard you scrub.
As the soul begins to awaken, it is inevitable that sooner or later, we'll find dissatisfaction with all of that traditional achievement stuff. It’s like no measure of external success can quench the thirst of the soul. Success becomes about how much you have really found ‘you’, unveiled your soul, and embrace it.
Most people who dig deeper, feel a yearning to do what brings them joy and really serve a deeper purpose; and then find that inner peace can not be found by the typical models of 'gain' and 'achievement' that society would have you believe are essential for success as a human being.
Soul versus the world
I’ve lost count of the times where I’ve seen people beginning to find what stirs their soul, only to be dissuaded by the disapproving comments from those around them:
- ‘how is that going to help you in life?’
‘how are you going to earn a living from that?’
‘how are you going to maintain our life style?'
‘what do you hope to achieve from this?’
‘tell me how you can justify your choices?'
'what has gotten in to you?'
'have you gone mad?'
These comments are usually fear based, neither trusting, nor embracing evolutionary change. Furthermore, when someone is first waking up, it is often difficult to answer these questions, because soul led living is hard to define in traditional matrix based terms. It’s so boundless and without limitation.
Sadly, those who challenge these choices, with their seemingly 'fully justified' cross examinations, often have the upper hand. It's hardly surprising really - they basically have the weight of the entire matrix of mass conditioning behind them.
So you might doubt yourself. You might even question your sanity and wonder if you are going crazy. In fact, to make things exponentially worse, if your shift is radical or they feel really destabilised by the ‘new’ you, then those around you, might even question your sanity too. Your entire world can start to crumble at the thought they might be right. Whether it's true or not, it's this kind of judgement that will often make people resort to the safe comfort zone, preferring the nagging feeling of discontentment to leaping into the unknown.
Being 'you' in the face of opposition is the biggest hurdle to over come. If you get over that one, then the universe knows you are serious about liberating the soul; so it will conspire to support you - but not until you have taken that leap of faith.
The truth is, that sometimes, when we follow the soul, it inspires change in those around us too. More often than not, others want to stay with what is familiar instead. We don’t get to decide who comes and who goes. We can only be authentic to ourselves. In fact the only thing we get to choose is whether or not we live inspired by the soul or whether we don’t.
Not for the fainthearted
A word of warning! Honouring what stirs your soul is not for the fainthearted. It’s for the bold and courageous amongst us; those who dare to be ourselves in the face of disapproval and even attack! It’s for those of us who trust that when we take a leap of faith into the unknown, that the universe will rise to meet us, in which ever way needed, so that we can serve our divinely given purpose. It’s for those of us who are ready to walk the spiritual path.
I am here to say that not only is it OK to listen to your soul, but if you want spiritual ‘success’, then it is crucial.
Spiritual success is unveiling the soul
- Success is about being authentic and unveiling the soul.
It’s the degree to which we embrace the spiritual path.
It is measured by the degree to which you have surrendered to,
and are able to trust the guidance of your soul.
It becomes much more of an inner journey of wealth; an inner sense of self satisfaction determined by the degree to which we have responded to the calling of our soul. It will reflect in the outside world in an myriad of different ways. There is no right or wrong. You’ll get exactly what you need to fulfill the soul’s purpose. It might equally mean that you live in a palace or a mud hut. It might mean that at times you are gifted an abundance of material goods and other times you are called to forage, ‘make do’, gather food, make things yourself. It’s about being attached to none of it. It’s about trusting that you are being exactly what you are given to be exactly who you need to be.
What do others have to say?
I am always fascinated to see what others who have clearly touched the soul have to say. Here are some inspiring quotes...
Viktor Frankl was an Auschwitz survivor, and said that success is not to chase, but, instead to allow it to unfold as a by-product of following your inner guidance and intuition...
"Don't aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one's personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one's surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long-run - in the long-run, I say! Success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it."
Enlightenment is found through that which is beyond the material world, through that which is in the depths of our heart...
"The ideals which have lighted me on my way and time after time given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Truth, Goodness, and Beauty. . . The ordinary objects of human endeavour - property, outward success, luxury - have always seemed to me contemptible."
Only do that which stirs your soul...
"Success is not the key to happiness.
Happiness is the key to success.
If you love what you are doing,
you will be successful."
To remember the enormous value in 'the little ordinary moments' that often offer our greatest spiritual growth...
"I long to accomplish a great and noble tasks,
but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as
though they were great and noble.
The world is moved along,
not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes,
but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker."
Heaven is within - let it shine...
"Your living is determined not so much
by what life brings to you as by the
attitude you bring to life;
not so much by what happens to you as
by the way your mind looks at what happens.
Being exactly who you are
You ARE enough! Exactly as you are.
So, what does success mean to you?
Soul to Soul