Curled underneath the cozy white comforter, night lit only by the gleam of the iPad, I flipped page by page through Baron Baptiste's "40 Days to Personal Revolution", my second go 'round with the life changing book. Each time I pick it up and read even just an excerpt, I find something new that strikes me, and this quiet evening (while, quiet if we consciously decide to overlook Marshall's random twitch and snore filled slumber) was no exception. In the past I have listed, printed, scribbled, and handwritten specific goals, most recently a phenom be-hind by the end of April thanks to my posted calender and the Brazilian Butt Lift, but really, how much control do we have over life and where it leads us? Baron brings up a good point that truthfully I had been struggling with lately and helps me see that following my heart is far more faithful than choosing to follow the path of the crowd:“People often confuse purpose with goals, but they are not the same. I was once having a discussion with a man who was a very well-known self-improvement guru about what it is to live a successful life. He said, “I believe there are certain principles that, if followed, will produce a life of success. The first one is to have clear-cut goals for oneself” I told him that I had a totally different take on things. For me, living a successful and happy life means not having any goals. “In fact,” I said, “the only goal I have is to have no goals.” Of course, he was shocked to hear this, but I went on to explain that at a certain point in my life, I had to ask myself which was more important: my goals or God’s goals. My goals were an attempt to manipulate reality in my favor (or so my ego thought). My purpose, however, was to be a vessel for good in the world, in whatever form that took. In this way, I could live out God’s goals for me. Really, giving up goals is a high form of faith. If you look at young children, you’ll notice that they have no goals. They tend to be much happier than we are as adults, much more free and light. Why? Because without goals, they can simply relax, be creative, and learn from reality as it is. When we have fixed goals, we are struggling to force things to turn out a certain way. Hence we close ourselves off from seeing what is possible and what else is available to us. We can’t see the bigger picture.
So does this mean that we lie down and become doormats? Of course not. It means we walk by faith. We do our work and trust that the visions, the intuitions, and the guidance will come to us. When we ask to be used on behalf of goodness’ sake, we may be used for great things. Part of our growth is continuing to get ourselves out of the way so that we can become instruments of a higher power. There is a flow of love, goodness, justice, and compassion in the universe, and we serve that flow not by setting goals based on what we think that flow should be or what we think that flow should be or what it should look like, but by being willing and open vessels through which this flow can manifest itself in the world. I often get asked by businesspeople what my goals are for my business. “What do you want to create?” they ask. Again, I usually say that I really don’t have any goals for my studios and my teaching, except for it to be a ministry that serves humanity. I’m not interested in seeing every person who comes through the door as a potential sale; I am interested in seeing each of them as an opportunity to offer some peace and sanity from the dog-eat-dog mentality that so often confronts us in the world.
It is hard for businesspeople to understand this, because in today’s popular wisdom, we are all programmed to want more. I point out that I am okay with taking one day at a time, one threshold of growth at a time. If a revelation or vision comes to me and rings true as a directive within, I will walk down that path. But I really have no desire to draw out my entire ten-, twenty-, and thirty-year plans of how I want things to turn out, because that kind of vision is limiting. I know that in my life, spiritual growth often takes me in surprising and unexpected directions. My job is to just stay open.
There may be things in my mind that I would like to do, and those things are seedling intentions that will sprout once the proper elements organize themselves in the right ways. If those seeds dry up and blow away, they weren’t meant to “take root in my life; they were not part of the higher plan for me. This attitude has helped to keep me free and allows me to live in faith. I believe we all need to discover our potential, not create it. It serves no one to strive to do better or do more. We only grow by seeking to be better every day, in every moment, both within ourselves and in the world with those around us.”
Excerpt From: Baptiste, Baron. “40 Days to Personal Revolution.” A Fireside Book, 2004. iBooks. Buy this AMMAZINGGGG yoga and life changing book here! I've done the course twice and read the book here and there and just for the hard hitting questions is asks you, it's worth the purchase.
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