Occasionally I wonder if my spiritual journey is guided by an inner compass, or external signposts. Mostly I figure it’s the first thing. Sometimes it’s the second.
For example, I ran across this Harvard Business Review article:
At the core of it is the idea of a life lived well, or eudaimonia, as it was known to the ancient Greeks. Umair Haque, the author, contrasts this concept with the prevailing modern concept of success, suggesting that these things are at opposites with one another.
(Now, I’m not following a path based on external “signs;” I take the portion of the Ramayana where Sita is kidnapped by Ravana because Lakshman runs off to “Rama’s” aid to mean that you should be cautious about “signs” leading you to God. That is not to say that there aren’t really lovely signs coming to us all the time, but it’s good to be careful which you choose to follow.)
That’s not the point of this post, though. There’s a solid underlying theme that’s rising to the top of philosophy and cultural and business ethics lately, which is that the things and the status aren’t at all important if you haven’t lived your life well.
Its purpose is not merely passive, slack-jawed “consuming” but living: doing, achieving, fulfilling, becoming, inspiring, transcending, creating, accomplishing — all the stuff that matters the most.
(I ask Lakshmi not to give me prosperity, but to help me see it when it comes to me, and use it wisely. This is a very hard prayer to keep up with, since it’s so much easier to feel selfish and say, “I want money!” I often forget how much prosperity comes into my life, and how much I fail to appreciate.)
And after reading this article, I feel pretty solid in my chosen path, however that ends up manifesting itself. I already knew all this stuff, but I can certainly use the reassurance.