Years ago, I read Deepak Chopra's book “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success.” It really helped me to redefine what success was for me personally. What I understood was that up until then, the picture of success I was driving towards was given to me by the same culture that told me I would never be good enough. I realized that continuing to pursue empty achievements for achievement sake was soul crushing and rarely did I find happiness in attaining other people’s expectations. I was on a merry go round of never ending setups to failures.
I’m talking about this current culture that has defined success by the attainment of popularity or profit. It says that you must have a typical (normal and approved by society) goal in mind and then take steps towards that goal. And as if you are walking on a never ending treadmill, once you achieve that goal you are given a new goal because your achievement wasn’t good enough “yet.” There seems to be a restless, relentless, and almost aggressive drive to reach a triumphant promised land and finally have an upper hand to life. However, rarely do we talk about what happens once you get to the “top,” and how to deal with the inevitable reality that according to the same culture that is pushing us, the top will never be good enough. Achievement alone will never satisfy the need to win, because there will always be another peak.
We hear the phrase “it’s lonely at the top” but you’ve probably disregarded this warning because you might have adopted an insatiable desire to see if that’s really true. As an observer of top performers and having certain “peak moments” myself, I have come to understand one thing. The reason it seems lonely at the top is because you assume you made it there all by yourself. When in fact, you didn’t. You were and are never alone. Without an awareness of who you truly are, and where you come from, you assume you did it all by yourself and therefore experience an uncomfortable emptiness that consumes you at each new level of success you attain.
I believe the emptiness that so often follows achievement has more to do with the fact that your desire to accomplish something had nothing to do with the thing you wanted to accomplish at all. We are blinded to where this desire to succeed really comes from. I also believe that we isolate ourselves in order to feel important because we don’t understand our connection and Divinity.
Someone once asked me why following the call into Mysticism became my biggest ambition and here is how I replied. Because without the awareness of my Divinity, I cannot fulfill any other ambition and feel satisfied. When you are going after something you want, it is common to conclude that it is just you and the goal. Even with a support group around you, at the end of the day you think that you and you alone have to do the work, take the steps, and make it happen. But that’s not actually what's going on. When you have a desire to attain or achieve anything, you are actually answering an inner calling that is always beckoning you to expand. This inner calling is your inner Divinity- the part of you that is made perfect in the image of your Creator. We call God and Goddess the Creator because their nature is to create- constantly. Their creations didn’t just end in Genesis on the seventh day of rest, no. There is an active creative force that is constantly growing, expanding, developing, increasing, and unfolding. Because you come from this force- it is your nature to also do that. When we allow ourselves to be enticed by a new idea, we are actually living out our intrinsic nature to be like the Creator. We desire expansion. And when we move forward towards achievement with this in mind, it doesn’t seem so lonely anymore. All of the sudden you have the entire heavens and cosmos at your fingertips. Achievement is effortless and it becomes more about the great cosmic dance you get to participate in rather than winning approval, award or accolade. Success is redefined as a feeling of connection, harmony, and effortless flow. No matter what you are doing, contentment is there because you are tuned into your inner nature more so than the outer results.
The idea that Mysticism is not for today’s success driven culture is not true. The thought that being a Mystic is not progressive is almost bizarre when you understand your own Divinity and what is truly driving you to grow. Even in a world of technological advances that supposedly make things easier for you, it is still very pragmatic to think of your Divinity. We would see less personal suffering in the world if people were more self aware in this way.
While the world believes that Mysticism is lost and forgotten, I am here to remind you that it is not only alive, but it is flowing through every part of you right now. The world that chases success like a puppy trying to find it’s tail may find spirituality daunting, boring, or fake. But does the world seem happy? Is it ever truly satisfied? Or have we become more and more isolated from our true nature through the contentious pursuit of a predefined success? The reason my spiritual journey is my number one ambition in life is because I have found that true joy comes from my oneness and as long as I am delving deep into mysticism, I have the energy, foresight, and clarity to develop everything else in my life. This includes my career, relationships, health, hobbies, etc. I spend my time wrapped in the security of my Divine relationship while witnessing the world spend it’s time in self created chaos, insecurity, and disappointment. I see myself on top of the world as a RESULT of my Oneness. And that my friends, isn’t lonely at all.