In the last post I shared with you a poem that Dr Wayne Dyer had included in his most recent book “The Shift”. The poem identified one of the greatest hungers that we could experience as being a life without meaning.
In his book, Dr Dyer talks about the four phases that some of us move through in our quest for meaning – From, Ambition, To and finally … Meaning. While this is the sub title of the book, they are also the four phases that are used to describe the path that we travel in our lives as we experience ‘The Shift”.
In the FROM phase Dr Dyer speak of how we move away from everything we are when we are born, influenced by our parents and those closest to us. He says that everything we need for what we are to be was formed in the 9 months as we were created. Everything was decided for us, our eye colour, personality and our spirituality was provided for us. We didn’t do anything during that time, we were simply made into who we were to be. Then we were born and we (and those around us) began to take control of where we went from there. What we are taught from birth is that who we are isn’t something we can surrender to but something we must start doing which is the beginning of our journey to ambition. We become achievement and materially focused from an early age believing that what we have (including our toys!) is who we are and what we do is who we are. This is the ego beginning to form and grow as we move into our AMBITION phase.
As our ambition grows so does the ego. The first component of the ego is about what we have. We are taught from early on that ‘what we are is based on what we have’ so we are driven to build our lives full of material possessions. The problem with this is that when we ‘don’t have’ we believe that we are not.
The second component of the ego is that ‘what I am is what I do’ and this is all about achievement. We become driven to rise to the top, getting ahead and so on and of course the problem becomes that if ‘we are what we do’ then if we don’t we aren’t.
The third component of the ego is that ‘I am what others people think of me’. In young people we call this peer pressure and we find that we become focused on ensuring that we are liked by the people around us from an early age but as Dr Dyer says, we can’t go through life focused on our reputation because it doesn’t exist. It is impossible to go through life being focused on other people’s expectations. It is more important to focus on who we are.
In the ambition part of our lives our goal is to get more and do more and be liked.
Join me for the next post as I discuss what many people experience when they realise that ambition and ego are keeping them from a life of meaning.