May 27, 2010

What Is Your True Path In Life

The first thing is to really understand, not just intellectually, but to sincerely finally understand and accept is that there is no one specific God given special path for anyone. We each have some abilities, either natural talents or developed and learnt ones, that can be used in a variety of paths to make like successful and happy. You have many possibilities to happiness and success.

There are things we enjoy, which many other people would enjoy also, but that does not mean it is your special unique path in life. The path of life given by nature is simple, survive until you die. What you do in the middle between birth and death, that is up to you. This is where an average human being develops into more than just a human animal and uses the quality that makes humans different from all other creatures on earth, freedom of choice.

We could say there is only one path in life for every person, that of becoming a better and more awake being.  Simply becoming more, that is all there is and is for all to do. How you do that is up to you. If you had a specific path that God determined for you before you were born, then you would not have freedom of choice, you would be ruled by this instinctual drive like any other animal. This would contradict what makes humans different than other animals. Do you feel as compelled to wallow in your current situation as a dung beetle has to live in Elephant poop? It is entirely contradictory for anyone who says they believe in a God or Higher Power, that they have freedom of choice yet have been given a specific task, job or profession to perform.

If you are miserable and depressed, you will look at life with self-pity and be lost in imagination rather than be present and look at what is happening right here and now with an objective point of view. If you are not present because you are looking for your special path, you will never find anything to make you happy, since you are lost and not here right now.

Khidr is the spiritual guide to the seeker who has no living teacher and is said to be green in colour. There was a man who heard that Khidr was seen in his town, and so he ran through the streets asking if anyone had seen Khidr. He went up to a hooded man wearing a long cloak and asked if he had seen Khidr, to which the man raised his arm and pointed down the street. Our little fool quickly thanked the stranger and ran off in the direction he pointed completely missing that the pointing finger was glowing green.

When people will stop looking for some special path that makes them happy as if it is a God given path for their life, only then will they be much happier with anything at all.  To do this, we must first accept reality.

Reality is that life is not all fun and games. It takes lots of hard work, effort and requires doing many things we do not enjoy, and that no one enjoys.  How many people love doing laundry and washing dishes or cleaning the toilet.  Do you know anyone who would rather clean the toilet than go for a week on a tropical island playing on the beach?

These things must be done unless we are fortunate enough to be very rich so can pay other people to do those dirty jobs, but still, the job must be done.  Accepting our position in life at this very moment and doing all the dirty jobs with understanding that they are just part of life, we can be happier in general.  And that goes for any job at all. Any job really is serving one single purpose, to make money to pay for the things we need to survive.  Any excess money can be used for pleasures or investments to make more money to have more pleasures.

Wanting to have millions of dollars so you are free to do what you want is certainly common and understandable, however getting that money requires a lot of time and effort. Perhaps the fortune comes in a very short time, as people have been led to believe by one line in Think and Grow Rich, but that comes AFTER many years of hard work and preparation. This is shown in Zen teachings which say; ‘Enlightenment happens in an instant, after 10 or 20 years of hard work.’

An interesting point about the very common idea that many people have that they are meant to do something special in the world to make a difference. When we are children, seen objectively, we are treated as useless and worthless in our ability to make any decision for ourself. We are told when to go to bed, when to eat, when to do anything and everything, even to pee before going out in the car. But often, we are not tired, hungry or have to pee. Our young life is one of being told what to do at every turn and not given the respect to decide for ourself. Although this is often valid and necessary, the young mind does not see it that way.

The other input of information comes with cartoons and superheros. We see these superheros saving the world and getting lots of attention and love. We develop these characters into idols, and are even encouraged by our parents to be like them, buying us the costumes to pretend we are Superman, etc.

So your mind forms with two thoughts, one that you are worthless because you are not given any respect to think or decide for yourself and the other that superheros are the best loved people because of the great things they do for the world. And so we want to be a superhero when we grow up.

This mental concept forms in a way that sticks but alters with our view of the world. The adult then lives with the ‘knowledge’ that they are ‘meant’ to do something great in the world, and adjusts that to some adult practical application. However, these adults spend their whole life searching without finding that ‘special purpose’ and are perpetually dissatisfied with their life due to not having found that special thing they believe they are ‘meant and created to do.’

We are not all superheros, Da Vinci, Edison, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet or Gandhi. However, we do have a mind that has a great ability to do things and think and learn and create, but that does not mean we are individually specifically designed and made to do a certain thing, it is an option and choice more than a command or destiny.

I am sure that there is a psychiatric condition called something like ‘the superhero complex’ for anyone who admitted that they want to be a superhero. Naturally, if any adult felt this way, they must hide it from themselves to prevent being deemed nuts. So your subconscious which still has this fixed belief will use a buffer to hide the truth of what you believe from yourself and in so doing perpetuate this problem for the rest of your life. You will want to be a superhero but instead just convince yourself that you are born and destined to make a big difference in the world, and live a frustrating life. The trouble is part that you think yourself a superhero but the main problem is that you deny it as the underlying foundation of your imagination of what you think you are meant to do.

When you view it this way, you will be able to relax and see what is in front of you rather than miss opportunities because they are just not special or big enough to fulfill this imaginary dream of making a big difference in the world.

The ironic side is that when you are content and do whatever it is you do with great comfort and pleasure, your simple presence and balance will make a real difference in the world of those you interact with.

Author's Bio: 

David Samuel is The Entrepreneur Monk. David is a rag to riches story, making his first million at 25. Reaching his financial target by the age of 29, he sold six of the eight companies he owned to travel internationally for several years.

David is devoted to the never ending exploration of the nature of the mind. He has resolved the riddle of why we do what we know is bad for us yet do not do what we know is beneficial and teaches that very effectively.

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