Posts Tagged ‘Ego’

It’s Never Too Late

There’s a wonderful Turkish proverb that succinctly relates a message underlying both the movie version of The Shift and the book of the same name. It says, “No matter how far you have gone on a wrong road, turn back.” It doesn’t matter how long we’ve allowed ourselves to travel the road of our false self. We know when it isn’t leading us to a sense of purpose and significance, and we can admit we’re on the wrong path. The awareness that our life lacks Meaning is more than enough evidence that it’s time to make a U-turn.

In The Shift movie, I relate how I found the road that resonated with the calling of my soul. I did so by listening to what I was feeling deep within me, rather than what my ego was saying to me about how to capitalize on my fame by writing books to make more money. By trusting my inner excitement, I was able to make a big shift in my life, a real U-turn, away from writing about psychology to writing about living life from a spiritual orientation. That shift away from the Ambition of ego, which tried to control my writing and speaking career, put me on the path of Meaning.

When you turn away from ego control, what is it that you trust to guide you? There are three markers to look for on this road—trust in yourself, trust in others, and trust in the Source of being. When you trust in yourself, you listen to your soul speak and hear what your intuition or the “voice within” is saying. When you trust in others, you practice noninterference and free yourself from trying to control others who have their own inner voice to follow. When you trust in the Source of being, you trust the mystery of creation. The universal Source of all creation, invisible though it may be, guides you just as it guided your development in the womb. When you trust in Divine intelligence, you cooperate and invite the shift to Meaning.

Authentic Self Seeks Meaning

What’s the difference between our authentic self and the false self created by ego? Authentic self wonders: How may I serve? Ego’s attitude, on the other hand, is: Gimme, gimme, gimme—I need more, and I can never be satisfied. When we align with ego’s voice, the universe provides experiences that match the Gimme, gimme, gimme energy. It may not seem obvious at first, but if we pay attention, it’s quite clear that this energy creates pressure, anxiety, and stress. Why? Because allying with ego means that we’ve chosen to live in a demanding environment. We simply haven’t realized that we have a choice to join forces with our authentic ideals and live in a nondemanding environment. The Law of Attraction works either way!

The more we demand from the universe, the more is demanded of us. The more we give away, the more is given to us. It’s truly a simple matter of attitudinal energy generated from within ourselves. Consistently thinking of needing more attracts that needy energy back to us. When we consistently generate thoughts of giving, however, we attract the energy of giving back to us.

Lao-tzu speaks of the “absolute joy and freedom” we can experience by aligning ourselves with the practice of “kindness and selflessness.” My new book The Shift: Taking Your Life from Ambition to Meaning is a contemporary interpretation of this ancient teaching. I hope to impart that “Meaning” is not achieved through your ego and its selfish ways, but through the part of yourself that is selfless. Lao-tzu speaks of practicing “undiscriminating virtue”—this is your path to the freedom and joy that characterize a purposeful life.