Accomplishments of the Heart
Do you judge your self-worth by what you accomplish during the day? By how many things you check off your to-do list? Or, do you judge your self-worth by how kind and compassionate you act? May we work towards a self view where we hold accomplishments of the heart in greater esteem than lifestyle accomplishments.
It took me a long time to realize that most of the stress in my life came from the fact that I measured my self-worth by how much work I accomplished, by how much I checked off my daily to-do list. If I had a "productive" day I would feel satisfied. I would feel that my person had WORTH. But, on most days when I didn't "accomplish" everything on my to-do list, I would judge myself to be lazy or distracted. I would feel my WORTH to be very low. Thankfully, I had been studying the writings of many spiritual teachers. And, each one of those teachers told me that we will never feel true worth by chasing after accomplishments. They said, if we focus on being kind and compassionate to ourselves, and less on what fleeting work standards we set for ourselves, we will bring complete happiness into our lives. So, it was in 2009 when that idea began to make sense to me from the inside out. I had already been trying to live in immense kindness and compassion, but because I was solely focused on the success of my professional and personal projects, I judged my WORTH on that damn to do list, INSTEAD OF all of the LOVE that I had been spreading around me. America teaches us that accomplishments and successes bring happiness. But, embarking on projects and goals for the mere sake of accomplishing "something" will never be fully satisfying. We will find ourselves in a loop of just trying to prove something to ourselves, something shallow and inconsequential. So, I finally realized that my practice is to now honor my efforts of kindness and compassion as true markers of success. This journal entry from 2009 is a real snapshot of this transition taking place:
Journal entry from 7/22/2009
"Why must I always need to accomplish things?
I validate my existence by what I produce.
If I'm not producing anything of quality, I feel useless.
Problems arise when...
I do things for the sake of doing things instead of internal motivation.
I am internally confused because...
I don't know the difference between things I truly want to do and things I think I should be doing.
This leads to bigger questions...
Should I be doing anything?
I'm sure that...
My life as an energy is existing no matter what I'm accomplishing.
I'm sure that...
"Accomplishing things" is a conceived definition that has no impact on.... what?
The need to "accomplish things" is different than the desire to fulfill my potential.
So, I need to...
Start differentiating between the empty desire to "accomplish things" between the true desire to manifest my abilities and callings."
Intuitive Spiritual Advisor, Author, Musician