The past year has certainly been full of some incredible moments. Getting a book deal with Hay House, getting a standing ovation from 3,000 people after I spoke at a Hay House conference, working with many schools empowering thousands of youth – I certainly have seen many of my dreams become a reality. Yet lately no matter what was flowing in, I found myself always aiming for the next milestone, reaching to get to my ultimate vision and never truly celebrating what already had been achieved.
Once I had experienced the level of success that I truly wanted to be, my ambition and drive kicked in and took over. I started to convince myself that I needed to MAKE everything happen from here on out. That all of my success was going to be directly related to how hard I worked and how hard I pushed to get myself there. My head decided to take over and told my heart, “thanks for all the work that you have done but I got it from here”.
Now I definitely have some type “A” tendencies and the more that I empower them, the more they take over my life. After all I witnessed my father the majority of my childhood make his work his life, and have very little time for anything else. I vowed never to allow myself to be like that, but the past few months these tendencies have definitely been more prominent in my life. My ambition had become so strong that I was convinced I could make everything happen better and faster. Two weeks ago I was reminded by a good friend of mine that there is something even more powerful than our own will – our FAITH in The Uni-verse.
I realized that I had allowed my ambition to get so powerful that I was engaging more from my head and less from my heart on a day to day basis. I was trying to make everything happen without having faith that it would all unfold at the perfect time. I had a vision, and I wasn’t going to rest until it came true. Sound familiar?
Ultimately, beneath the surface, I was empowering my fear instead of my faith. If you think about it, that “make it happen” attitude is created from the fear that it may not happen. Why else would we feel the need to over extend ourselves, or push ourselves into action? Take a look at the belief that you have to work hard to get what you really want – it is rooted in fear as well. If we really take a look at most of our type “A” tendencies, they are mostly rooted in fear, including ambition.
Now, I am not saying that any of these characteristics are in any way bad. In fact I believe they are needed if you want to make any sort of change in this world. I actually think that ambition is healthy. But like everything else in this human body, what is created from our mind needs to be kept in check and balanced with something from our heart. Too much of anything leads to imbalance – and when we are in an imbalanced state, we are not showing up at our highest capacity to serve and live.
For me, it was clear that I had allowed my ambition to take over, and it had created an imbalance in my life. As I began to re-balance and recalibrate myself through various different practices (spending more time in nature, letting go of self-imposed deadlines, engaging more in activities that felt good, and being silly/childlike more) I was reminded of one of the most powerful lessons I have learned and put into practice in my life. If we want to make any positive change in this world we need to live IN this world NOT for it.
What that means is that we can’t change the world unless we are living in it, immersing ourselves in all the same challenges that our fellow brothers and sisters are experiencing. We can’t just disconnect and live a life in isolation and expect to be able to change anything. You can’t truly experience inner peace unless you have made your way through the chaos and turmoil.
But on the flip side, we don’t want to immerse ourselves SO deeply that we lose touch with our truth and our essence. We don’t want to get so caught up in the game that we start living our lives FOR it instead of just in it. There is a fine line that we need to walk. We need to maintain a healthy balance between our head and heart, our intellect and intuition, and our ambition and faith if we want to fulfill our greatest potential on this planet.
I believe the purpose or meaning of life is the process of learning how to show up more fully as who we truly are. And who we truly are is both spirit and human. We cannot ignore either; we need to embrace the characteristics of both and find our own unique and optimal balance that allows us to thrive.
The most important part to remember is that it is a PROCESS and this process lasts our entire lives. The true meaning of life is in the learning process – not in the achievements or accolades!
Take Action Challenge:
Are you letting your ambition get the best of you? Are you always trying to make it happen? Are you living FOR this world instead of in it? This week try to release bit by bit from the drive and the ambition, and ease your way more and more into every situation. Put your trust in The Uni-verse and strengthen your faith muscles. Once you have eased yourself back into a more relaxed state, you can try to engage your drive again, but this time from a more balanced approach. Let faith lead you into action.
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Michael Eisen is the founder of the Youth Wellness Network, an organization dedicated to inspiring and empowering youth across the globe to live happier and more positive lives. Michael is teaching his first online program this summer called Living the Empowered YOU. To learn more about Michael and the Youth Wellness Network, visit: www.youthwellnessnetwork.ca, connect with him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter: @youthwellnet