August 15, 2020

On Ego and Striving for Success.

And I guess I wish I could just roll over and bliss out for the rest of my life - happy with just being here, now. Happy and contented with whatever I have. But the urge to do more, be more and have some kind of worldly measure of success is so powerful it's impossible to ignore.

On Ego and Striving for Success.

I'm at this weird point in my life, and I guess also on my journey as a 'spiritual person' (whatever that means) - where I'm balancing between understanding that what I personally do/who I am has very little long-term meaning, and is likely not going to have any major impact on the world...

...and yet, I'm still a young enough woman that I have an excess of personal power and drive (and ego), and I am constantly, obsessively searching for ways to use them.

I *know* I'll be forgotten in the matter of a single generation - yet I feel like spending most of my time trying to do something 'impactful' (again, whatever that means) is a priority - if not THE priority - of most of my waking hours.

And I guess I wish I could just roll over and bliss out for the rest of my life - happy with just being here, now. Happy and contented with what I have. But the urge to do more, be more and have some kind of worldly measure of success is so powerful it's impossible to ignore.

A lot of people want to blame this on 'capitalism' or whatever. I do think our society and culture feeds this - but I will tell you that it's deep enough in there that I can't blame it all on what's going on 'outside' me.

This is baked in on a cellular level.

I've gone over this a million times in my mind - because I practice zen and I have had a few glimpses of Reality that check me on my delusions of grandeur and ideological pursuits - so I know I'm sort of playing along with some Grand Game that doesn't much matter in the end.

But I also can't help but believe that this urge (and it is exactly an urge - as strong as any other) exists for a reason in me. In the same way as sex and hunger does.

And perhaps it's not for the purpose of changing the world, after all. (I don't actually think the world works that way, anyway. What we perceive as change is always countered by an opposite force, and we're not nearly as evolved as we think we are.)

But maybe that urge exists in us to ensure we keep trying, in our own unique way, to LIVE to the fullest. It's THE feeling of our life force, without which we might sink into physical, spiritual, emotional, and intellectual apathy.

Maybe that urge is there to ensure that we are *really* living?

A sort of angsty discomfort and an innate, but vague sense of selfhood and purpose that pushes us forward, seeking and trying and doing things that allow us to learn constantly throughout our lives. To really BE alive.

Sometimes that push yields great discovery or art or some relative cultural idea of success - but those are merely byproducts of us following the urge; where, and in whom it shows up in the world is just a giant lottery.

And as anyone who has ever played the lottery knows - it's the playing that makes it exciting.

If it were the winning, no one would keep buying those tickets.