Personal Development to Bring the Most Out of Yourself, Not to Get More Things
I remember a few years ago when the movie "The Secret" came out, and manifestation became the buzzword of the transformation community. People began creating vision boards and made efforts to build their dream life by visualizing it. Throughout my time in the personal development/transformation world, I've noticed a lot of people engaged in various spiritual activities with the intent of obtaining more.
People meditate to get better jobs, more money, or find their soulmates. It's all great stuff, and there is nothing wrong with wanting to create a better life for yourself. However, if one is going to embark genuinely on the spiritual path, these things should, at best, be secondary goals. The primary focus of completing these various spiritual tasks should be about becoming a better person, becoming more present, and bringing more from yourself; instead of to yourself. The truth is that as people, we are mighty entities. If you're from western culture, there's a good chance this truth has been conditioned out of you. However, you can utilize different tools and techniques to access this inner power and bring more of yourself to the world. I believe the world is crying for you to bring more of yourself to it.
Many of us have been conditioned to believe we must do well in school, go to a good college, get a good career, save for retirement, get married, have kids, retire, and die. These are worthwhile ambitions and certainly a natural part of life, but there is much more to it. Every moment has so much to be experienced. I was once at dinner with a friend at a nice restaurant on our first day of vacation. This person spent the whole meal talking about what we should eat tomorrow and where we should go on vacation next. There wasn't a single moment of appreciating the present meal on the present vacation. This might seem like a silly example, but this is a very common way people live their lives. They spend their time fanaticizing the next thing while they're currently sitting in an extraordinary situation that is hardly being experienced. Life is here to be experienced as fully as possible. This is what we should be using our spiritual tools and techniques for, not for acquiring more amazing experiences (which is still a nice added benefit) but for being fully present and experiencing each moment fully and deeply.
My opinion is subjective, but every moment and every situation has layers of depth to be experienced. You have layers of depth to be experienced. In every moment, regardless of what is going on, you can create a pleasant experience within yourself. By creating this pleasant experience within yourself, you leave a space for others to experience this as well. By applying various spiritual tools and techniques, you can change your own internal experience of the world, as well as the world's experience of you. You can also change others' experiences of themselves.
I once worked at a bar that had a lot of the same regulars come in every day. Almost all of them were miserable (they were drinking at the same bar every day, after all.) It wasn't long before I became miserable. It seemed that every day was a Groundhog's day of being miserable for myself and the bar regulars. One day, after an argument with the bar manager, I was ready to quit dramatically. Then, I decided to take a different approach. I decided I would be so positive that it would show the bar manager that they had no negative impact on me. At first, it felt a little forced. Then after a tiny bit of time, I was genuinely filled with joy. I felt so much lighter in my body. I remember feeling loose and having fun. Then I noticed a crazy thing. The energy in the whole bar was different. I noticed all of the people that were normally miserable, were all so much more fun. It's possible that my perspective was different, but it's also possible, and much more probable, that my change of energy allowed the entire group of bar regulars to change their energy, and they mirrored mine. I remember realizing at that moment the power I had by simply changing my internal state. Here is the really crazy thing; there was a woman who came into the bar that I was able to sense was upset. I usually would leave a person like this their space because I didn't like absorbing other peoples' negative energy. But, because I was in such a good mood, I talked to her for a long time. I listened to her problems. She asked about me. I told her of all the passion projects I had, and we exchanged phone numbers. When I got back home she had called me, and informed me that she worked for 20/20 and was doing a piece on bartenders who should be doing other things with their life. At the end of the conversation, she said, "Your life will never be the same."
The 20/20 interview and piece on me never came to fruition, but she was right. My life was never the same after that day. I moved in the world differently. I spoke differently. I quit that bar job within two weeks of that conversation, and I have only been working on projects I'm genuinely passionate about since that day. The crazy thing is, though, that opportunity would have been there, and I would have completely missed it if I hadn't been trying to be more positive. That's the beautiful thing about using these tools and techniques to bring more out of yourself. You'll feel better and be of more service to others whether you get anything out of it or not. Ironically, you probably will still get a lot out of it.
Watch the film: https://amzn.to/3CF6lJc
Read the book: https://amzn.to/3vZiIi1
PS: If you prefer watching over reading, you can watch this video where I talk about this experience here.