Question: I am overwhelmed by thinking about what I “should” be doing in my life, yet all success training mentions the importance of goal setting. Is there a correct approach to getting the “impossible” done?
Answer: The next time you hear this inner voice of imminent doom, listen instead to this higher instruction: Never again look for a way out of any anxious condition. Proceed in spite of any thoughts or feelings that would have you believe you can’t. Success only becomes impossible when you try to deal with what isn’t in your power. Renegade parts of you want you to waste your powers dealing with them. Your misguided attention to their punishing presence gives them a life they wouldn’t have without tricking you into giving them one. This means you don’t need power to deal with what’s been defeating you, only the higher understanding it takes to consciously dismiss it from your inner life. You have that power now. Start using it. Just behind your certainty that what you have to accomplish is too much for you lies a new and conscious capability to proceed one step at a time, to accomplish one task at a time, to your satisfaction.
It isn’t our “plans” to improve ourselves that empower the changes we know are needed in our lives; it is our willingness to suffer what we must that makes good our wish, that delivers us to our intended goal.
When it comes to true success in this life — regardless of whatever world it is in which we strive for excellence — there is no greater ability than to be able to do what we don’t want to do, when we don’t want to do it, and, in all cases, to do it well.
That there are always new life-lessons to be learned, and that they are often at the expense of some self-certainty formerly thought to be crucial to our contentment, proves that this life is, in reality, a secret school with it’s own celestial curriculum.
Think how nice it would be to spend your day going from one new understanding to the next. That’s the beauty of your spiritual work — to begin to establish relationship with a force that is ever-renewing.
Here’s an exercise connected with all we have been learning. Each day, just watch, as best you can, what the prevailing energy is — how you want to get things done, how you are rarely (if ever) right with yourself where you can learn something. Then make it your new wish to start to grow, to find the learning ground within you instead of staying caught up in this terribly painful, endless pursuit of possessions.
Just notice how your life is all about the idea of gaining what will get rid of the feeling of being incomplete. Instead, turn your attention back around. Don’t reach out; reach in. Put your energy, your will, your wish, your attention all in the one place that it’s possible for you to start having what this life is for, which is to grow.
Driving your car, in the office, at the supermarket… work at moments where you’re not trying to gain getting out of somewhere so you can get home and eat the pizza, or you’re not trying to gain any person’s good opinion of you. Your sole aim is to be conscious of yourself so that you can see what is in your way, what is for you and what is not, and what it means to grow.
God wants you to grow. That’s the whole purpose of life. We have been set up, not to gain things, but to grow from our life. What an advocate you have if only you would put yourself on God’s side.