What pursuits are best for us to live quality ‘being’ and quality ‘doing’ in a way that is progressive and meaningful for us and beneficial for those around us?
The last couple of blogs have looked at mechanisms between mind and body we can consciously harness to optimise our wellbeing and performance. Wellbeing is about a state of mind and body. Performance is about ‘doing’ and while there are psychological and physical dynamics that enhance our state and capacity to perform well and experience it more fully, it still remains for each of us to choose day to day (and for any significant phase in our lives) what is on purpose for us to do.
Dr. Wayne Dyer in his books and lectures made a distinction between the ego’s motivation of needs being “what’s in it for me?” versus the higher soul mind motivation of wholeness being “how can I best serve?”. He has often quoted from Maslow’s work on self-actualisation. One point from Maslow is that self-actualised people are detached from outcome. The Bhagavad Gita goes into this in great depth. Maslow in his research and observations saw they are not motivated by what could come to them but follow pursuits because what they do is essential to them feeling complete, rather than the ‘fruits’ of their actions. Another way to say this is that there are things some of us feel personally called to do and with this calling comes a sense that acting on this inner calling is what will give our sense of completeness meaning and purpose.
Napoleon Hill in “Think and Grow Rich” also describes what drives people he has studied who have enriched lives in every way (not only material ways). He describes it as a “burning desire” to act on an inner calling which invariably includes expressing their gratitude in life along with contributing some aspect of what excites them in life in a way that could benefit others or share that excitement.
I see this dynamic in my own life. My 20 years work in as a therapist and counsellor fulfilled my urge to help people with a specific set of skills and knowledge while compelled to better understand the relationship of mind and body in the process. My 16 years of building and running a company with wellness products and promoting sustainable business ethics and the organic industry, was an extension of that same urge with the addition of contributing to environmental concerns in the world. Meanwhile, I fulfilled a desire to learn about business and to represent these values internationally as an example of the change I see needed in the world right now. These days I am developing my writing as a communicator of all of the above values and principles with more focus on spiritual teaching, albeit an ongoing part of my outlook and inner practice all along. My roles as father, partner and friend are motivated and infused with the same values.
The substance of your deepest calling defines you and so touches all aspects of your life. For me it is being a practitioner and communicator for aligning mind, body and spirit to achieve life fulfilment in all aspects of our lives individually and as a society.
There can be stages in our life when the primary form or ‘doing’ of the calling changes, or it may not. There may be numerous things we feel passionate about and would participate in, in addition to one or two primary interests, or there may be only one consistent focus through your whole life. The key is that where our true conviction and passions lie tend not to fade but remain with us whether we pursue them or not. They may shift and transform with life experience, but these callings we each have are tied in with our own life long primary values and convictions.
What hits your ‘excite’ button? What not only excites the passions, ideals or opinions but incentivises you into go into greater depth of understanding and go into action? To find this requires the ability to listen within ourselves to come to know our most inner and authentically deep urgings to share and serve as well as to stay on track as we respond and act from them. Thus, the value of meditation, the alpha and conscious theta frequencies discussed in my recent blogs, coming to know our inner stillness, inner silence and being present in the ‘now’ with open heart and mind. From there we can start to really listen and tap into the depths of awareness, before bringing that awareness to engage with the activities or discussions we spontaneously and consistently resonate with fully. The ‘calling’ is what you deep down feel you must do to truly feel you are fulfilling a purpose you’re designed for or would most want to do if all else was sorted in your life. Out of anything that you’re here to do, what would give you a completeness at the end of the day and fulfil your sense of purpose throughout that day?
For some, it may not matter ‘what’ so much as ‘how’. Every work position, relationship in life is a vehicle to act in loving and fully present awareness and be conscious of how it is of benefit to others. Each little moment is an opportunity to act with love and awareness. As Dan Millman said “There are no ordinary moments.” This consciousness purifies the mind and invigorates the spirit. A sense of “selfless service” is the zone where happiness and fulfilment hit unusual highs, as shown in many studies. This is especially true where people have found a way to selflessly do something they love in recognition of the need in others they are helping to fulfil.
As with Maslow’s observation, having a true calling shape our ‘work’ of choice or life interest, is not an outcome based intention. It is an expression of an inner purpose-based intention. Relative wealth, fame or power can sometimes come about as a consequence of the authentic and vibrant energy mobilised when we follow our passion. These worldly rewards can and often are used for tremendous good, yet can be equally destructive when they become an end in themselves rather than a means.
Someone on purpose and doing good inspires those they serve directly and others who recognise the energy and consciousness they are coming from. A truly deep and authentic sense of mission rides an energy that energises others. This is most fulfilling and powerful when the ego is cast aside, replaced with an integrity to convictions, values and burning desires that are discovered within during moments of quiet connectedness and inspiration.
As Wayne Dyer says: “Success becomes defined by how you feel about what it is you are doing”. It is knowing combined with action, while sharing real love and passion. Whether it be the way you go about and perform basic tasks and services at work or in the family, the way you communicate a message, design or deliver a product or service you represent, consistent action of good intent from a generous heart inevitably makes an impact in someones life or in the lives of many.
Putting the above into action requires a little progress every day. As Lao Tzu of the Tao-Te-Ching says, “a journey of a thousand steps begins with a small step”. He also says “To do something big, think small.” So spend at least a little time daily on something you have a passion to do or achieve. An inspiring friend, Paul Dunn of B1G1, also promotes the idea of thinking small. He promotes and educates others on the enormous value in distinguishing yourself, a product or service to others by the little things, the thoughtful small differences and touches of what you do and offer. It is often in these extra touches or little things where you can also actualise what you stand for. Great things are achieved by focusing on each little step at a time to get there, each detail, each person who is part of that journey and the little things and surprises that occur along the way to yourself and those you benefit.
Photo on VisualHunt modified with quote