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  • Writer's pictureWarrick

Can personal development work without a spiritual balance?

What can happen when our success outpaces our spiritual development

Hello fellow Protagonists,

How do we know when we are ready for personal success?

We may think we want success in life. For the sake of this post we will refer success as the achievement of goals external to the self (promotions, financial wealth, relationships with others, increased freedom and time). Just because we want success, does this mean that we are ready for it?

Our external achievements and the internal readiness are two different things. Readiness for success comes from the self, and development of self comes from the spiritual.

We may have the intelligence for external success, the necessary counter balance to intelligence is wisdom. Intelligence will show us how to develop but it is wisdom that teaches us how to use that development.

One way of applying this in a more practical sense is to ask ourselves for example, are we ready to be financially wealthy. Are we ready to be rich?

Of course I am, people may say. What kind of a question is that?

OK then adventurers, its time for a thought exercise.

Let's imagine that millions have just come our way and now we can throw a few thought provoking "readiness" questions into the mix.

  1. If we were unable to budget £100 a week, how can we be so sure we can budget £1,000 or £10,000 a week. The ability to consume less than we have is a development of our internal character and not dependent on how much external wealth we have. It is all relative.

  2. If losing £100 due to a poor decision, impulsive reaction, or scam currently makes us bitter, imagine dealing with that with a few more 0's on the end. Could we be sure we could emotionally manage this?

  3. As we become aware that nothing in life is risk free or permanent we realise that we can lose anything and everything external at any moment in time. Can we assure ourselves that we could go from riches to nothing and be able to deal with this? That is a serious switch in lifestyle. The higher up we go the further it is to fall.

  4. Where would we put our new found wealth? Who can we trust to look after it? How do we know what to look out for? How much would we pay people to make the decisions we did not have the opportunity to learn along the way?

  5. If our current ambitions were externally and materially focused. Congratulations this has now been achieved. This may be a surprising shock as it is now time to turn internally (spiritually), and we may have not yet practiced or prepared ourselves for such things, which can lead to some "interesting" journeys.

  6. Questioning the meaning and purpose of life will follow as we are running out of superficial meanings to throw random darts at.

  7. Are we prepared for the sudden adaptation our friends and family also need to make. This didn't creep up over time, this is a very sudden and obvious change to those we know as well as us. Are we prepared to have awkward conversations, deal with potential ill feelings like jealousy, reply to requests for support or begging etc...

  8. We potentially have enough money to make some serious changes to the lives of those less fortunate. Were we the kind of people who once said that the rich need to support the poor as they have enough to spare? Or was this an excuse to not worry ourselves about such matters at the time?

  9. Can you keep up with your new Joneses if this is something you still care about. You say you don't so why did you buy your current car? Cut your grass so beautifully? Paint your front door the same colour? Does it bother you if they knew that our millions appeared overnight without a "legit" reason?

  10. Do we deserve what has happened to us? What does deserve even mean? What is the criteria of a deserving person? Has this happened for a higher purpose or is everything just a game of chance? Will we be judged by our response to this gift, by us?

These are just 10 of many, many questions to emphasise how our spiritual and internal base needs to meet the needs of our achievements.

There is an argument to suggest that externally developing at a slower pace allows us the opportunity to face and match internal conundrums, like those in this list, along the way. Some points may take days, weeks, months or years to iron out.

This is no new concept.

Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it - Proverbs 13:11

Why does it matter if our intelligence outpaces our wisdom? I don't think it applies to me.

To that simply take a wider look at the word and ask yourself what large sections of humanity have used great technological advancements and achievements for when given half a chance. Great power without the wisdom of how to use it.

I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones - Albert Einstein

An extreme example to prove a point. Some of the world's most intelligent people were unable to prevent how their discoveries were used.

This one feels a bit heavy. Let's end on a lighter note shall we.

Internal development has a huge difference compared to external success. This is not the same as securing a promotion, or finding and developing a new relationship. This one relies completely on us.

When we develop internally as a person we are not reaching a new copy or version of ourselves, we have managed to internally find something that was hidden within our potential all along.

Everything internal is already there if we take the time to look for it. Nobody else can prevent.

GLHF (Good Luck Have Fun)


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