The ego has an insatiable need to feel special. It will find endless ways to trick us into believing that we have to achieve things, in order for our lives to have value and meaning. This is the ego’s achievement trap mechanism. It will keep us running in circles until exhaustion. No achievement can ever be enough for the ego, because it lives in an imaginary realm, based in lack and separation.
Have you noticed that nearly everything around us is designed for the ego’s glorification? Societies are built for egos, not for souls. External achievements – money, objects, jobs, diplomas, etc. – are awarded but no value is assigned to spiritual growth. If you become successful and achieve external merits, your ego will grow larger while your true self sleeps. The thicker the veil of forgetfulness, the deeper asleep we fall. When we constantly chase the carrot of achievement, we don’t have the time to question the world around us, or inside us. Consequently, this also makes for obedient citizens.
“I was no longer needing to be special, because I was no longer so caught in my puny separateness that had to keep proving I was something. I was part of the universe, like a tree is, or like grass is, or like water is.” – Ram Dass
Who would I be without the story of this central character, who only finds meaning through achievement?
Finding true value and worth takes great courage, as it requires one to leave the barometers of consensus reality, and burst the myriad facades of ego. The ego has to surrender its arrogance and move past the fear of not existing – without any external validation. But that is the last thing egos wanna do. The egoic mind will go so far as to convince you that you have reached some level of enlightenment, and no longer have an ego. This often results in fake spiritual personalities and characters, gurus and prophets, and endless bypassing, which is simply the ego’s clever way of keeping itself from dissolution. But it is just another phase on the journey to spiritual maturation, and it eventually shatters because it is not based in truth of who we truly are.
Who Does God Have to Impress?
How can we live primarily from soul truth and keep the ego in a healthy balance? How to remember that our lives have intrinsic worth, and all we have to do is, exist? One simple way I have found is to nurture the childlike innocence in us. Remember the four year old you who simply plays for joy, and who lives in wonder of creation – outside of time and achievement? Spending time in nature and with animals, with no goal in mind.
The soul is nourished by creative play. The more time we spend in the present moment without any agenda, the closer we get to pure, soul centered living. Achievement is a thing for the ego, the spirit has no use for it. Being kind and loving is more important than ego centered achievement in this world. In fact, the less you care about achievement, the less you can be manipulated by external forces. Life is play, they say.. perhaps with no other goal than evolution of Love, through the act of creation.