So I’ve been in a bit of a rut lately, and no – not because things are not going my way – but because literally, everything has gone my way (I know, weird, right). Thankfully, I have realized the err of my ways and it has to do with this constant battle that I have been having with my mind, awareness, consciousness and overall presence.
Mind 1 – 0 Ben
With that said, I would like to take this opportunity to publically congratulate my mind for winning the battle once again, but hopefully, this is the last time, because I am determined not to slip up, in future. So to my intelligent, deceiving and extremely devious mind, well done, you have outwitted me once more, congratulations – hi5, good job.
A bit of background
I have always been a very goal-oriented person, and a large part of this is due to these initial book recommendations from my amazing mother:
- Mind power into the 21st century – John Kehoe
- The Power of the subconscious mind – Dr Joseph Murphey
And this was just the beginning. Because, after these two gems, came books like:
- The law of attraction – Esther Hicks
- Think and grow rich – Napoleon Hill
- As a man thinketh – James Allen
- The richest man in Babylon – George Samuel Clason
And the list goes on and on and on.
I can literally dream up my entire reality.
I started reading these books around the beginning of my high school years and they literally changed the course of my life, because they taught me from such an early age that I can literally dream up my entire reality.
So naturally, dream up my reality I did, I would carry around a small book with me where ever I went (a trait I adopted from my father). And in this book contained my future, literally everything I wanted to achieve and acquire in my life from what academic grades (down to the last percentage point) I wanted to achieve, what university I wanted to be accepted into, what degree I would study, how long my degree would take (#minimumTime), what car I would get, what apartments I would move into, how much money I would be making etc etc. At one point I even wrote down the qualities and attributes of the ideal girl I wanted to date at the time – and lo and behold, she too came into my life.
So this has essentially been my life for the past 12 years or so, conceiving, believing, and achieving. Rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat. And it’s been a fantastic journey thus far.
Don’t ask me how it works, just know that it works…
The grand vision: Starting my own company
Growing up, one of my more long terms goals, had to do with me having my own company.”B-Corp” was what I wanted to call it. I had logos, business cards, and letterheads prepared, #IBeeenReady. So I wrote this down in my small book, circa 2007 (when I first started to code) and my software company manifested into my reality around 2014/2015, except it isn’t called B-Corp, I am not developing in Delphi anymore and I am not the sole director. But it is my company, I am self-employed and I am doing what I love, writing software and solving problems.
…these same goals that we use to liberate us, can restrict us at the same time.
So what’s the problem then?
So what’s the problem, you ask? The problem is that lately, I have been quite confused about what exactly I want to do next, where I want to go next, who I want to be.
Writing down my goals was a lot easier back then when I was 15, when my mind was a lot more limited and I had a narrow understanding of the opportunities the world had in store for me. But now at 24 I have so much ahead of me, there is so much I can be and so much I can do – yet at the same time, I also don’t want to limit myself by holding on to small, petty, material goals. Because these same goals that we use to liberate us, can restrict us at the same time. For example, me saying that I want to make $x.00 income next year, kinda stops me (to an extent) of attracting $1000x.00 in income. Also, me saying I would like to travel to 5 countries next year, kinda stops me (to an extent) from attracting a 20 country world tour. And me saying that my goal is to write 100 blog posts in 2017, kinda stop me (to an extent) from attracting the publishing of my 3 books by 2020.
So I am at the stage of my life where if I do write down my personal goals, I feel like they are forced, restricting and limiting, but if I don’t write down goals, then I feel like I am drifting in the abyss of circumstance and coincidence.
I keep forgetting that this is it, and that I shouldn’t strive to live or plan for this non-existent future.
The relapse: Overlooking the present
So anyways, due to this mind clutter and existential confusion, this past weekend I decided to sit quietly in meditation and allow the infinite intelligence of The Universe to deal with this mess.
Through this stillness, what I came to realize is that through all this commotion of desire, ambition, goal setting and planning I have unknowingly let my mind and ego take over my life yet again.
Through my desire to be, have and achieve more, more, moooore I have completely overlooked the present moment. I have not taken the time to sit back and absorb where I am in life right now and how I actually got here. I keep forgetting that this is it, and that I shouldn’t strive to live or plan for this non-existent future. I have taken for granted that everything that I wanted has actually come to pass, my life is exactly as I desired it to be and that the people I know and love are alive and well.
So, needless to say, I’m quite annoyed at myself for getting tricked by my mind yet again – this confusion of what goals to set and what objectives to achieve (what we might call ambition) is just another method of the mind to take me away from the glorious present moment.
Goddammit Ben, why do you keep letting this happen.
So where to next?
Well for starters I would like to develop my spiritual practice further ( I believe that I need this now, more than ever) through daily meditations, pay more attention to my present and live more in the moment, because that is all there is.
I also need to accept that I am entering a new phase of my life, which is explained pretty well by Wayne Dyer in his book “The Shift”:
“The shift illustrates how and why to make the move from ambition to meaning. Such a shift eliminates our feelings of separateness, illuminates our spiritual connectedness, and involves moving from the ego-directed morning into the afternoon of life where everything is primarily influenced by purpose.
As we contemplate leaving the morning of our life, where ego has played a commanding role, and entering the afternoon (and evening), where meaning and purpose replace ambition and struggle, we may encounter unexpected occurrences that accompany this new direction. It’s almost a universal law that we’ll experience a fall of some kind. Yet these falls or low points provide the energy we need to move away from ego and into a life of meaning and purpose.
The Shift doesn’t mean that we lose our drive and ambition; it signifies that we become ambitious about something new. We make a commitment to living a life based on experiencing meaning and feeling purposeful, rather than never-ending demands and false promises that are the trademark of the ego’s agenda.”
“Most people treat the present moment as if it were an obstacle that they need to overcome. Since the present moment is life itself, it is an insane way to live.” – Eckhart Tolle
“The mind is never satisfied with the objects immediately before it, but is always breaking away from the present moment, and losing itself in schemes of future felicity… The natural flights of the human mind are not from pleasure to pleasure, but from hope to hope. “- Samuel Johnson
Interesting books to read:
- The Shift: Taking Your Life from Ambition to Meaning – Wayne Dyer
Interesting concepts to read up on:
Ben J.E Mmari