You can do it! You have the power! It’s within you! Set goals! Achieve your dreams! Move forward! Move on! These are the popular sentiments heard from the thousands of what I call Success Evangelists. They’re here to help us tap our true potential. The scary part about them is they actually work – and there’s a big market for it.
Yes – they work. It should not be a surprise. If one is dedicated, focused, and works hard, amazing things can happen. It’s a little frightening though that we need evangelists for this. We all get down once and awhile, but there’s an entire business model to pull people out of the quagmire of despair and unhealthy habits. Why are we so far off to begin with?
The question I have for any drive toward a goal is this, once we achieve our dream, what happens when we still feel like the empty shell of a person that we are?
Put another way, we’ve taken the self-focused advice and achieved a goal or two, now what? Perhaps we are wealthier, or have that great job. Or perhaps we’ve shed a few pounds. The fact is we’re still insecure. We’re still hyper-sensitive to criticism. We still don’t feel good enough or smart enough. We still lack inner confidence? We’re still, well, us. What then?
Perhaps our surface goals that are full of achievement, wants, and desires, can’t truly be fulfilled until the underlying holes in our souls are filled with something that’s truly lasting. When the latter occurs, our goals become more in line with our hearts. A soul-aligned goal changes everything. It becomes more of an experience (a journey) than a destination.
With success evangelists, we put all our hopes and dreams on us. This is shortsighted. How are we supposed to summon up the resources, the conviction, and the discipline. This seems rather out of touch with reality. Despite the power we have – and we have a lot – that power – that divine spark – comes from God. God is the source of infinite power, goodness, and grace. Turning to him and discovering what our purpose is through him is the first step toward true riches and success.
We can trust ourselves, or we can take a step toward God. Both are scary. Only one is true freedom. Only one leads to life to the fullest. This isn’t an argument. It’s common sense.
Thanks for reading,
~ Ted Olson