I had just moved to Houston, Texas from Los Angeles. I had just discovered spiritual things, and was looking to switch from an ambitious “I have to be a success” path to more of a spiritual path, but I had no idea how to do that. I was still very much practical and was trying …
Stage one – AWAKENING
In stage one, we are the restless. We go through life asleep to our true purpose for existing. We feel restless, searching for meaning in the meaningless things of the world. We live a never-ending search, looking for happiness and peace in everything outside of ourselves. At some point, we realize we are barking up the wrong tree and turn within.
Each of us has an inner compass, an infallible mechanism for self-direction or guidance. You can call it your inner pilot or, if you like, you can call it your soul. It doesn’t matter what you call it. What does matter is that whenever you are actually listening to this inner compass and following its guidance, you tend to feel peaceful, focused, dynamic and alive. When you do not listen to its guidance, you tend to feel scattered, unfocused, nervous, lethargic, and possibly ill.
I recently received a letter from an Atlanta Falcons player who told me he quit the NFL not long after reading my book The Secret of Shelter Island.
“I realized I was living someone else’s dream, not mine,” he said. “The truth is I haven’t enjoyed football since high school.”
Some might be surprised that anyone would walk away from all that money and celebrity. But perhaps he’s an existentialist. They recognize the dangers of living an inauthentic life.
Who, exactly, are the existentialists and what do they know?
Existentialism is a philosophical movement that came about in the late-19th century. It is not some abstract set of theoretical truths. Rather it is a no-nonsense philosophy that encourages you to take a hard look at your life and ask two essential questions: Who am I and how shall I live?
God is the key. There is no getting around this fact. We cannot save ourselves. We cannot make our dreams come true or discover and successfully live our life purpose without God. Others talk about plans and strategies to live your dream as if it is an excel spreadsheet and all we have to do is form a grand plan and then implement it with discipline. But that’s all ego.