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.