The path to living a fulfilling life means having to slowly strip away all those things which holds us back.These things are the combination of limiting beliefs, negative values and fear. What I’ve found out on my path to personal growth is that pain will commonly arise and that the ego will get hurt. After a while, what you come to realize is that all these things are necessary for change. Our ego gets hurt because we have this preconceived idea about ourselves, and when that idea gets challenged our ego flares up and feels shattered, and if we are identified with this ego we also feel shattered. But we have to come to an acceptance of the things that cause us fear and pain, for the only way to truly overcome them is to accept them as who we are, so we can discard it and grow.
‘Man cannot remake himself without suffering, for he is both the marble and the sculptor.’ – Alexis Carrel
When I was very young I had this pre-conceived idea that I was going to become a wealthy business man flying around through airports and doing business deals all over the world, like my Dad. This was my dream from when I was very young, as I’d obviously been influenced by my family and also by society. I didn’t know how I was going to get there or what I was going to do.
As I grew older, I started building up a large resistance to these visions of mine. I got smarter, and my doubts rose more and more if whether or not I would be able to become this ‘international business man’, or whether or not if it was truly something I’d want to do. Growing up, I’ve always been bombarded with beliefs that I have to make a lot of money in order to be successful and happy. I was conditioned to this kind of thinking. Around the age of 19, my knowledge of these things: how to be happy, how to live a good life, how to be fulfilled etc all changed. My old previous ideals of making a lot of money, work hard in a job just because it pays well was conflicting with my new beliefs, my new ideas.
I wanted very much to hold on to my childhood dream, become successful, make a tonne of money if I study hard and do well at Uni, but my new beliefs of doing what you love as a way to lead you to success were becoming more and more obvious to me. I struggled with this for a while as I was trying hard at uni, feeling depressed at my bad results, but at the same time was holding onto conflicting beliefs of that uni and my results don’t ultimately matter in this day and age.
After months of struggle with conflicting beliefs I started to read more and more materials supporting my new belief. I read about other successful people who have taken the path of passion, and looked at examples of how people who did make a lot of money still weren’t happy or fulfilled. I realized the answer was that these people weren’t growing, they were just spinning the wheels of life, they weren’t moving anywhere.
After waking up one morning, I decided to make a radical shift. I decided that I couldn’t sit on the fence of these two beliefs any longer, and accept that the change to this new belief is the right path. It was a deep realization of the truth in this new view of life, and how the path to fulfilment is found when you go inwards, when you listen to your core self.
I had to come to an acceptance with the fact that maybe my old beliefs are wrong, and maybe it is not the right way for me. After many years of being conditioned, your old beliefs won’t necessarily change overnight as for me it took a while of struggling and internal conflict.
So from my story you get an idea of what I mean by acceptance precedes change. If you are overweight, accept the fact that you are and start eating healthy and exercise. If you don’t feel fulfilled at your job, don’t just keep spinning the wheels in hoping that one day something will make it change; quit and find something that you enjoy. If you aren’t good with women, don’t try to protect your ego but go out and learn how to improve yourself.
Once you ultimate accept and change yourself, you then can start affecting the world around you. You can change governments, economic systems, and everything that can make the world a better place.