In my First-Second Degree of Illumination bubble, I believe I must be WORTHY to EARN a worthwhile goal. It means that, when I see that someone has some worthwhile thing, I believe they must be deserving of it. Conversely, because I don’t have that thing, I must not be worthy of it. This sets up a worthiness competition.
Money demonstrates this principle – I assume a wealthy person deserves their wealth, which makes them worthier than me because I’m not as wealthy. Worthiness based on doing or having is at the source of debilitating stress, conflict, and unhappiness, and yet I find myself thinking in terms of value…
[Goal] Achievement = Worthiness + Investment
My [perceived] Worth = My [perceived] Achievements / [my perception of] Achievements of Others
That is, the value of a goal is directly related to my sense of personal worth and the amount of effort I’m willing to put into achieving it. The value of my personal worth is directly proportional to a comparison of the value of my own achievement to that of another. In effect, it’s a numbers game.
To achieve a goal, I believe I must invest sufficient energy in the form of intention, effort, and attention. I must feel I can or do deserve to achieve a goal before I’ll invest energy into achieving it. Then, the investment will tend to define how worthwhile the achievement is.
I may skew either side of my worthiness ratio, giving me a false sense of personal value. That is, I develop a sense of personal value based on my bubble equation, then fudge the values of my and others’ achievements to force the equation to “prove” my preconceived personal worth value. It’s a mess!
When the formula results in failure to achieve a goal, I may feel that the experience has subtracted something from my personal worth. The value I place on myself has a direct effect on the formula. This, perhaps, is the reason I feel so “deflated” when I fail to achieve a goal – my self-worth has taken a hit, lessening the likelihood of future success.
To continue to “work the formula” to achieve my goal, and to keep my self-worth at the same value, I may double down on aspects of the formula. First by increasing my efforts (“If at first you don’t succeed… work harder.”).
When increased effort fails, I may then try redefining my intention and refocusing my attention (“Okay, so I didn’t get my boss’ position after working my butt off for it. Perhaps I’m too intent on getting this one job. I see there is a managerial opening coming up soon in another company…”).
When that fails, I may choose to lower my sites or abandon the goal. This almost always results in a deflated sense of worth (“Hell, I didn’t want that job anyway!” or, “Maybe I’m just not suited for management…”). Proof of my worthlessness!
Only success benefits my sense of worthiness. Why? Because I’ve defined my self-worth in terms of achievements – usually in comparison to others. I’ve allowed competition with others to define who I am and codified it into a “formula for success” that I never question – I just accept it as truth.
How true is my equation?!
Remembering that the formula is based on achievement in comparison to others, and realizing that I cannot achieve who I am – I just am, I question the veracity of my formula. What if I am not defined by what I do – especially in comparison to what others do? Could success, rather than being defined by achievement, be innate? What if self-worth cannot be earned?
Who am I… …when I shift my perspective from the bubble to Fourth Degree of Illumination gratitude?
What if I simply “awaken” to who I am? No achievement necessary. How much effort does it take to change a perspective? Or to recognize myself? How might that shift in awareness affect my equation?
A New Formula for Success?
Now that I’m challenging the validity of my success formula, how else might my formula look?
Looking at the elements of my formula:
Perhaps were I to place the elements into 4th Degree perspective, I’d realize that the values of achievement and investment are arbitrary – assigned by me. Worthiness is innate – a characteristic of being. In essence the entire formula is irrelevant in 4th Degree awareness because how the world and everything in it appears is a function of who I am.
Turning my goal formula upside-down, I might ask, “Who am I that is represented by my life?” Even inside my bubble, I can imagine that I am worthy simply because I showed up for 100% of my experience of life. I’ve already achieved 100% of my life as it is now. With worthiness and achievement out of the formula due to 100% fulfillment and, therefore, irrelevance, I want to know:
- What do I want as a result of who I am? (objective)
- How do I get what I want based on who I am? (strategy)
- Why do I want what I want because I am who I am? (motivation)
- Who am I now? (power)