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“Success is a journey, not a destination.” Ben Sweetland

I just quit the job at my own company and looked to start something new. I want to make sense of how personal and spiritual growth fits together.

One nagging issue I had was the seemingly conflict between the drive to success and spiritual being – I posted about it several times, not only on this blog … and I want to give some insights about this topic that I realized over the last view weeks:

A New View on Success

It is much easier for me now to have fun creating again and strive for and enjoy success. It’s not a bad thing at all – as one might think if one first experiences spiritual states directly. Here it seemed somehow in conflict and almost wrong to strive for worldly success, recognition and satisfaction :)

The important difference is that such things as success become enjoyable things, for instance creation of a new website and connecting with people on it is something that is fun – it has almost a playing character. But it is not something to find myself in it and to be fulfilled or to be more fully myself. That is impossible, but you have to realize it first that you are already and completely fully yourself. There is nothing to be added and you know it by spiritual realization.

But, as I said, success and drive to create is not wrong in any way :) On the contrary, and I enjoy creating it more than ever right now. It is simply an expressions, into the world of form if you will. There is no conflict anymore, you can have both totally – as long as you don’t lose yourself in the drive again and think you create a bigger me or a better me (than others or than my current me ;)).

What’s remarkable though is that success gets infused by the spiritual state, it gets more inspired (in-spirit). And everybody who sees what you are doing can sense this. Everybody wants to be inspired right? It’s a great feeling to receive and especially to give.

And this expression is something very enjoyable – the expression from your inner world into the outer world. I have the feeling that the more you can inspire your expressions, your creations, the more remarkable they are. If the expressions and actions are motivated by negative emotions like anger or greed this gets expressed in the creations, and you can see it first hand – it’s not very inspiring at all.

The Best Creations come from Spirit

Yesterday I heard the interview with Eckhart Tolle called “Even the Sun Will Die”, where he talks about his greatest achievement (“I don’t have to think anymore” :)) and how any real creative achievement comes out of the field of no-thought. In fact it seems to me the more you move into the spiritual realm and into the realm of no thought, the more powerful to create and to be successful you become. You have to take that impulse and create – take action – but if you are inspired and enthusiastic that is really easy to do.

So the difference is that creating success loses a bit of it’s ultimate importance and becomes more like a playing ground to create.

The Fight for Survival and Spirituality

Although there is the other side of the drive towards success and that is mostly before you have achieved a certain level of success. It is very much connected with the basic need for survival and a certain level of wealth, in order to live a life without worries for instance about money or providing for your family.

I have the feeling that this is almost something that happens not only on an individual level but also on a social level. In order to move more easily to a higher development of consciousness you have to ensure the basic need of survival. If survival is threatened you may even drop back to very uninspired behavior. At least this seems to be the general case. Some people like for instance Eckhard Tolle are able to skip this, I mean he lived on a park bench for years without a fixed income and a socially defined identity. But for the general public that doesn’t seem to work. We have to make step one in order to make step two.

In the end, for me spirituality and drive to success work hand in hand, or in even better words: spirituality and the drive success work best if they work hand in hand :)

PS: I opened a Newsletter for AwakeBlogger, you can get it top right on this site :)

PS2: Just noticed that other bloggers are also talking about this conflict between spirituality and intelligence.

24 comments

  1. Jarrod - Warrior Development Reply July 8, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    I come across a similar difficulty with my martial arts practice which is essentially learning how to kill.

    It is the side-effects of the art that create a better person internally but the art is still killing. It takes a lot of effort to see to the deeper truth.
    .-= Jarrod – Warrior Development´s last blog ..How to Give Happiness When it Must be Taken =-.

  2. Myrko Reply July 8, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    Jarrod, interesting comparison. I think success is widely seen as one of the most desirable “things” to achieve in our society. But the reasons are mostly for what we think we will get from it and how we feel then. It often comes from a state of lack and is looking to enhance the persons self-image.

    I think here is the difference now for me, where it becomes enjoyable and not so much a necessity without it I would feel miserable :)

  3. alex - unleash reality Reply July 8, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    Ahoy!!

    really like the ben sweetland quote. very similar to my favourite quote – and title of one of my favourite books – “the journey is the destination”

    really cool to see how fresh and enthusiastic you are about making something happen in your life. really inspiring. can feel the live energy in the way you wrote it. refreshing and inspiring. makes me smile. a lot. :)

    poignant realisation that you have to realise you’re already completely yourself. nothing can complete you, you’re complete already… i like “you don’t need anything to be you” (i’m claiming authorship on that one. tm :) )or “that which you are needs nothing”(hale dwoskin of the sedona method i think)

    i think expression and inspiration and spirituality and getting excited and life itself are all the same thing. it’s that deep raw connection to humanity. every tingle and atom of your being wants to get up and dance. full yum bliss.

    ecky is my hero. (eckhart tolle). awwwsome little german man. heard of the interview you’re talking about but haven’t checked it out yet. really like him all round. should check out the sedona method that i spoke about above… similar yet more practical. coolness all the same.

    i think the notion of survival threatened – and not relating or allowing it validity in your reality – that’s what allows people like ecky to be unaffected.

    total unreactive ease. it’s what happens when you truly experience – not just think – but experience that you don’t need anything to complete you :)

    you are complete already :D

    inspiring post all round. stumbled!

    keep well and in touch
    alex – unleash reality

  4. Myrko Reply July 11, 2009 at 2:24 am

    Hey Alex, nice to read you. Inspiring Blog, you have! What you refer to with “total unreactive ease” you could also call “surrender to what is”. You can hear Eckhart talking about it constantely and the last chapter of his first book is about Surrender.

    Here is the typical fine line between surrendering to what is and still having the power to change things. I think this could be a common misconception: surrender in a way of “giving up” and “not doing anything about any mess”. The real meaning is that surrendering to what is makes it possible to accept the reality that is there and wont change at this moment, no matter what. And out of this kind of surrender comes the extremely powerful energy to change things – with a total acceptence, a deep “Yes” to the actual situation. Then the full power of change can operate into the vision that you have of a true improvement.

  5. taney Reply July 11, 2009 at 6:49 am

    I must say this was very great read! I especially like the part where you mentioned about “the expression from your inner world into the outer world”.

    There’s a quote that I’d like to share by Sean Corn, “For me the real art and key for spirituality is not to pray for an experience to change but to pray for the strength to perceive the experience differently. And so, through my practice, every moment of life is my initiation.”

    That’s exactly how I feel. Everyday is a new spiritual awakening! It’s pretty interesting and exciting. I honestly think Life is amazing and beautiful! I feel I’m in my own little world and nobody understands, but I know my positivity is contagious!

    Quite honestly, I’m probably in the worst financial situation I’ve been in my life. I’m unemployed and staying at my parent’s house. I’m currently studying for my CPA exam and looking for work. For some reason, I still feel so optimistic about it. Some would say I’m lying to myself. The way I see is, there’s no reason to make matters worse. Why not enjoy, cherish, and strive to make changes? I have all this time right now, so I take advantage of it. I’m swimming and running everyday! Blog a little on my free time, while studying for my CPA exam.

    It’s really hard to change your mindset and perspectives. I’ve been meditating for over 5 years and I feel that it has really helped me a lot. It helps me see the big picture so clearly. I have another quote that I would like to share that seems to relate to this article, “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” — Robert Collier. As long as we make changes and work at it, we’ll reach where we want to be!

    I like your article! Keep up the good writing! (=
    .-= taney´s last blog ..The Pursuit or the Attraction =-.

  6. Myrko Reply July 11, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    Hey taney! The first quote is very deep, it seems to say, sometimes you don’t necessarely have to change the world but how you see the world. Like Wayne Dyer’s “Change the way you look at things and the way things look will change.”

    I’d say your optimism is key for your life situation. If you try to be intelligent and always “push” yourself to the best you can do, being true to your inner “self”, you’ll find your way for sure.

    I think there are two “worlds” mering into one: your inner and your outer world. And the inner world should influence the outer world most of the time. But it is also a feedback loop, so you have to see what works and where you can provide value. I don’t feel the right way to go is to dismiss the outer world, I wouldn’t be here if that would be my purpose. Tolle said (and I quote him again :)) the most important thing is to find your inner purpose, to awaken. He never said the outer purpose doesn’t matter. That’s how I feel … that it is valueable to be the best person you can be and strive for your successes and your coolest experiences and fulfilling your desires that are there!

  7. John Reply July 18, 2009 at 5:00 am

    I guess spirituality does have a hand in success. I understand what you mean by the creative mindset where you “don’t have to think”. It’s quite enjoyable and motivates me to keep creating. For me, writing is no longer a task that has to be done. It’s something that I want to do and enjoy doing.

    I can sense that you really embrace your spirituality when I read this post. Someday the time will come when I achieve a life of no worries just as you have.
    .-= John´s last blog ..Be Yourself and Stop Emulating the Masses =-.

  8. Paul Maurice Martin Reply July 19, 2009 at 6:55 am

    “If survival is threatened you may even drop back to very uninspired behavior.” On a species and planetary level, it seems to me that we therefore need inspired behavior ASAP. If we allow climate change to continue unchecked and whole populations face such serious threats as severe water shortages, it’s hard to imagine human beings becoming more humane under those sorts of conditions and easy to imagine them becoming less.
    .-= Paul Maurice Martin´s last blog ..WS: Trip to FeilongShan =-.

  9. Susan Reply July 25, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    Aloha Myrko,

    I just ran across your blog and love it. I have found the more I play with my definition of words like success the easier and more joyful creating what I want becomes. I also know that I will create more of whatever I focus my attention on. So I take actions consistent with what I want to create, ie I recycle and I send lots of love to the environment, knowing it is perfect just the way it is. That shift took a while and a lot of mental gymnastic but what a difference. When I think about life I have one experience, when I connect with my spirit and feel life very different picture!

    I’ll give you a big thumbs up on Stumble.

    With love and aloha,
    Susan
    .-= Susan’s last blog .. Fearless Fridays =-.

  10. I TAKE OFF THE MASK Reply September 24, 2009 at 6:31 am

    This is fun, inspiring and practical! Blending success and spiritually often seemed impossible, like we have to let go of one to win the other. Yet there can be no true success if you are empty within your soul. And it is quite difficult to attain spiritual enlightenment if we feel we are victims of our needs, and that we have no power to call upon the blessings of the earth if we need bread. Nice touch ;-)
    .-= I TAKE OFF THE MASK’s last blog .. What If I’m Afraid to Love? =-.

  11. Spiritual Jewelry Reply February 24, 2010 at 6:57 am

    There is nothing more important in this life than having the freedom to follow your inner voice. You are now experiencing that freedom. Congratulations and I wish you the best of luck.

  12. personal development comes first Reply March 26, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    Love the blog, excellent topic! I think that ultimately our happiness and spiritually shall drive us to personal development and also self improvement; and this is the true key to success. Because after all, money can buy a lot of things, but I cannot buy happiness!

  13. Ben Tien Reply April 23, 2010 at 6:06 am

    Hi,

    Many people have a conflicting opinion when it comes to spirituality and success. For years, many people have been conditioned that the poor are more spiritual than other people and that wealth brings along all of the evils in life. This of course is not true.

    We all know that we live in a physical world. Therefore, we need certain things to make our lives more comfortable and so that we do have the ability to help others. Would you be able to help someone if you were spiritual but broke? Would you be able to afford health care to make sure that you are able to be around to help others if you did not have a certain amount of money?

    I’m sure we can do both of them!

  14. SpiritualHorseman Reply June 30, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    Just found your blog. Love the title. You’re definitely awake and quickly rousing the rest of us.

    I was watching part of Friday Night Lights last night and Billy Bob Thornton’s character had a quote that this post reminded me of. He said that there really isn’t much difference between winning and losing… Other than how everyone else treats you.

    Success is a mindset. God grants us passions and desires within our hearts for a reason. Success is simply following where they lead us.

  15. used tires Reply July 20, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    Hi Myrko! I love that quote that you posted by Ben Sweetland! :) Really inspiration quote!

    Till then,

    Jean

  16. Cameron Reply July 27, 2010 at 4:38 am

    I’m really trying to find the balance between escaping worldliness for spiritual progress and achieving my goals. I believe it can happen with the correct intent, but presently I feel so drawn away. In fact, I’ve lost interest in many things, which I just wrote a blog about–yet to be posted! Enjoying the blog Myrko.

  17. car battery Reply July 30, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    Very good post, sir. Success is different things for different people, that much is for sure. And we each have our own levels of desired satisfaction when it comes to measuring our or someone else’s success. Many of us are content to lead a simple life and believe more in stopping to smell the roses (or coffee!) once in a while is important too.

  18. Paddy Reply December 12, 2010 at 5:03 am

    I think success and spirituality is a great topic. I subscribed to a few well known blogs who push both. I became quite uncomfortable with their stuff. Very clever but seemed to be aimed at becoming the top of the very clever tree, the top blog with its associated power, money and ego ie ‘success’. Success as a word or concept is problematic and says a lot about mindset. As soon as I hear the words personal development, success and spirituality I think another carpet bagger. This is great stuff to talk about. Maybe its just the language, I like to achieve my goals but for me it is not success. So we need to be very careful with the word. It can be clinging and grasping and holds the notion of non success or failure, judgement. As I write I remember the words of a Rumi poem, so got the book:
    In his poem about love he says in the last two verses:
    Without cause God gave us Being;
    without cause give it back again.
    Gambling yourself away is beyond any religion.

    Religion seeks grace and favour,
    but those who gamble these away are Gods favourites,
    for they neither put God to the test, nor knock at the door of gain and loss.

    Mathnawi, VI, 1967-1974 http://www.rumilovepoems.com/rumi_lovepoems_2.htm

    No need to get hung up on Rumi’s use of God, just read it as universe if that helps.

  19. Komodo Dragon Reply January 4, 2011 at 8:25 am

    Excellent post. Knowing where to set the expectations and achieve it is key. If you can be realistic in your expectations based on what you know you’re capable of and strive to achieve exactly that, you will be more fulfilled. Otherwise, you will usually end up feeling a sense of underachievement.

  20. Sell Textbooks Reply January 19, 2011 at 12:18 am

    I think success is widely seen as one of the most desirable “things” to achieve in our society. But the reasons are mostly for what we think we will get from it and how we feel then. It often comes from a state of lack and is looking to enhance the persons self-image. It can be hard at times.

  21. Paddy Reply February 9, 2011 at 8:30 am

    I just wrote a post on spiritual issues that folks here might be interested in
    http://ravensong.name/2011/02/08/mercy-and-prisons-a-measure-of-our-society/

    note I commented earlier in this chain. Warmth Paddy

  22. Ron Savarese Reply July 21, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    Nice post! I’ve been walking the line between two worlds for a good while now: the world of money and success, and the world of spirit and bliss. When I listen to my “inner voice” — even now after 20 years of meditation practice — I realize that most of the time there are two voices: one that is loud, socially conscious, logical, ego-driven, and educated, and one that is just the opposite: quiet, socially awkward, illogical, humble, and uneducated on the ways of the world.

    I find that the quiet, socially awkward, illogical voice is the one that leads me to inspiration, creativity, and fulfillment. It’s just really hard to listen to that voice because of all the social conditioning I’ve had in my life. So the true practice — for me anyway — is to get quiet and get clear on which voice I’m listening to.

  23. Paraveda Foundation Reply October 9, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    When we fight for survival that is when get will have ample opportunity to lay the foundation for Spirituality – we tend to develop few attributes like Humility, Sincerity, Aspiration, Perseverence, Equanimity etc..I believe that these attributes are necessary for Spiritual development.

    Thanks for writing this.

  24. Kemila Reply April 11, 2012 at 2:31 am

    But are “survival” and “spirituality” either…or… thing? Do we really have problem surviving? Or is it just what the thoughts tell us?
    I know this moment I am fine. Any fear or concern about surviving next moment exists only in my thought, which belongs to the realm of mind, which is very opposite of spirituality. As Eckhart said his greatest achievement was “he didn’t need to think anymore.”

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