Are you familiar with the fairy tale of The Emperor’s New Clothes?
“The Emperor’s new clothes” is a fun story about human vanity and the fear of truth. It’s also about wisdom, stupidity, naivety and incompetence. It reminds us of the never-ending human desire for power, material things and an acceptable position in society.
The story begins with the Emperor’s weakest spot; which is, clothes. Another part of the plot are the con men who want to take advantage of the Emperor’s weak spot to earn money. The time is not specific but, as in all fairy tales, everything happens once upon a time in a castle.
Sometimes I think life is a lot like the fairy tale about The Emperor’s New Clothes. There are so many people who are more concerned about vanity, the fear of truth, wisdom, naively following the leads of others and desiring the best place in society.
There is nothing wrong with wanting something more in our life or to lead a better life, but when we allow the opinions and beliefs of others, to rule our lives, we usually end up living a life that doesn’t make us happy.
There is a saying in the self-help industry, “if you want to be successful, hang out with successful people.” But how do you know who is successful and who is pretending to be successful? And whose definition of successful should we use? Success looks different to different people but when we allow our success to be measured or defined by someone else’s definition, we often find ourselves believing we don’t measure up.
If we are an entrepreneur and do not have a six-figure business, are we a failure? If we answer “yes” to that question, we often feel inadequate and if we answer “no” to that question, we are told we’re in denial. If we choose to leave Company A where the work environment is toxic and oppressive to work for Company B, making less money but management values their employees and employees actually look forward to going to work every day, are you successful.
So, it would seem to me that people may want to ask themselves if they have defined their own definition of success or if they’re using someone else’s definition of success. Earl Nightingale describes success as, “the progressive realization of a worthy goal.”
The next question becomes, “what is a worthy goal?”
He then goes on to say, “With our definition of success being, the progressive realization of a worthy goal, the young person working to finish school is as successful as any person on earth. The person working toward a particular position with his or her company is just as successful.”
Van Gogh never sold a single painting in his life. At the age of 27, he abandoned his unsuccessful careers as an art dealer and a missionary and concentrated on his painting and drawing. When he began painting he used peasants and farmers as models and then flowers, landscapes and himself because he was too poor to pay his subjects. He produced over 800 paintings and if he had not followed his passion to work towards a worthy goal, the world would never have been captivated by his art.
How many people today are blindly going where others lead them because they are being told it’s the direction that will lead them to success?
Spiritually speaking, if we look at life from an energetic standpoint, we are all part of the whole. Each one of us is a piece of the grand design that we call life. When one piece is missing, the grand design is incomplete. Therefore, if everyone is allowing themselves to be led in a direction that is not of their calling, they create a void or “missing piece” the grand design.
We also have an opportunity to eliminate labels such as rich, poor, gay, straight, black, white, successful, unsuccessful, intelligent, unintelligent; popular, unpopular, because every person and who they are destined to be is a piece of the grand design and is here to make up the whole.
How then can we stand within our own individuality and be successful? It’s my belief that the answer to that is simple, “by refusing to blindly go where others lead!”
Nancy Mueller ~ Mastering Your Beliefs Sensei
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