The other day, I had the privilege of having a passionate discussion with a new acquaintance, debating the nature of Mission, Vision and Success. I shared with my lunch partner my own philosophy about the nature of the soul and the ego. What comes next is somewhat spiritual, reflecting my own belief framework that helps me to understand what makes me and other people tick.
The soul is “Who I Really Am”, my essence, my wisdom, my consciousness. The soul is timeless, because it lives in the present moment. The fundamental state of the soul is happiness, it is happy to simply be. In my mind I picture it as a smiling Buddha.
One’s Mission in life is encoded in the soul. Each human being is born with the DNA of one’s Mission already present, providing the soul its fundamental frequency. This is why the Mission is fundamentally constant, it just “is”. The words used to describe one’s Mission may evolve, because words are at best rough approximations of ideas, but the energy of the Mission remains constant.
Then there is the ego, which seeks to shape the world around me so that it mirrors the soul. It is like a projector, my soul being the light source and my ego the lens. If my ego is out of focus or misaligned, the image projected into the world about who I am becomes blurry or false.
One’s Vision is a construct of the ego, and by extension, so are dreams, goals, objectives and projects, because they all seek to modify the external world to make it align with one’s Mission. The ego does not necessarily seek results, it is fed by experiences. Results are simply means to create those experiences.
Passion and motivation comes from the ego. The better the alignment between my Mission and Vision, between my soul and my ego, the more of my essential energy gets projected out into the world and the brighter I shine. The task of self-improvement then becomes to clean up and align the lens, to adjust how I project my Mission onto the external world through my Vision.
I define success as: “To create an experience of life that expresses Who I Really Am“. Success is not a destination, it is a feeling, an experience. I feel success when my ego faithfully projects the energy of my soul onto the external world, allowing me and everyone around me to experience my true essence.
I realize my interpretation of “ego” and “soul” differs from the classical psychoanalytical (Freudian) interpretation. I’m not sure where I picked up this insight, but the concept of “Who I Really Am” comes from the series of books “Conversations with God” by Neale Donald Walsh. If this approach rings a bell with you (no pun intended) as to where it comes from, either in psychoanalysis or spirituality or philosophy, please let me know in the comments…
For more information
Site for Neale Donald Walsh: http://www.nealedonaldwalsch.com/
Site for Conversations with God (the site may be “under construction”): http://www.cwg.org
Conversations With God Book 1 (my favorite): http://www.amazon.com/Conversations-God-Uncommon-Dialogue-Book/dp/0399142789
Wikipedia entry for “ego” (Freudian interpretation): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Id,_ego,_and_super-ego
And a somewhat-related article from Time.com (2005):
“The Science Of Ambition: Why Some People Are More Likely To Succeed”
Image Credit: Image by Michael Porter on Flickr
Direct link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/libraryman/110679756/
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