Why do we need to base our life choices on our core values, beliefs, interests, principles, visions, etc.? Flip the question around, what happens if we make a life decision that is dependent on external factors, cultural influences, family pressures, etc.?
To use an analogy, a major decision that is not based on your core self will evolve into something like the Tower of Pisa. Tilted at the base by only a few degrees, but as it grew taller, the slant became too obvious, and the risk became more and more the higher it got. Your life is also like that. Whatever decision you make now, if it’s not based on your more intimate values and passions, if it is simply to satisfy an external expectation or to conform to societal standard, your life down the road, let’s say in ten years, will feel the stress and distress. The stress is due to your body having to re-route its available resources, nourishments, energies to compensate for the imbalance, and when you go further and further in your life, that imbalance grows bigger and bigger, which is why you need more and more energy to sustain your overall life, to maintain your equilibrium. Like the Tower of Pisa, compensating measures are taken, costing a lot, and will buy it a few centuries of stability, after which, well, who knows. The corrective work you need to introduce to your life down the road will be costly too, if your starting point is tilted.
In addition, an uneven base will limit future growth. You can grow from an imbalanced decision for a limited length of time after which you will start to feel a lot of resistance, a bottleneck, a glass ceiling. You can’t move any further ahead, or it will cost you a lot of energy, money, time, effort, etc. It’s like the Tower of Pisa; it can’t get any higher or it risk falling, or it will need a lot of corrective work to grow taller. Like a tree, in order to grow taller, its root must dig deeper. Your root is your value, belief, vision, passion, potential, etc. You reach into them to fuel your growth, meaning that every step you take, every action you attempt, is infused with the joy and love of what you believe in. You do it because you want to, not because you have to. That process itself is your nourishment. The more you do, the more you feel the joy and love flowing out from within you. This pattern of energy flow is self-propelling.
But when your life work is based on an external value or belief, then you are not inside yourself when you work, you are outside of yourself and therefore over time you become drained and empty because you keep putting your resources out to serve others, and even if you make money, that only fuels you physically, not psychologically. There is a habitual pattern that you will form if you are feeding an external expectation: you keep guessing or anticipating what the market will like or want, you keep trying to serve others, your thought pattern keeps revolving around others, etc., all of which eat up your energy and the reward in the end is that you lose yourself, because you’re so used to looking at others that there is no established neurological pathway for you to return to yourself.
In the face of such a situation, you become stagnant and unfulfilled. You stop growing, because it is eating up more and more of your energy to grow, until it becomes a liability–the cost of growing outweighs the benefit. Then perhaps you try to figure out what else you can do and you may end up moving laterally in your life. Then is that lateral move based on your core values, or is it simply an escape from your current situation?
If it is just a quick exit, that’s like a quick-fix for a problem that has been fermenting in you for years. Moving laterally may be but a repeat of the same thought pattern used to make an earlier life decision. Changing external environment without changing internal environment (way of thinking, modus operandi, etc.). Then the result of that lateral move will be the same as before, because the inner formula has not changed, hence the outer product will not change.
Conversely, if your life decision is based on your passion, interest, talent, potential, vision, etc., then you would be able to fuel your endeavor no matter what the obstacles are, because what you do is 100% you, it is not something external to you, it is not a symbol of someone else’s dreams or standards, every breath that you breathe into your work you are imparting it with your belief, joy, love, enthusiasm, etc., you are infusing it with life–your life, and the more attention you give to yourself, the more energized you become.
Also, another advantage to standing at your core when you exteriorize is that you would not be drained, because your core is the source of your creativity, enthusiasm, intuition, etc., everything you need to fuel your life. Both Tesla and Einstein tapped into their intuition in order to bring forth so many wonderful inventions and discoveries to mankind. Every physical thing you see in our civilized world today originates from the nonphysical side, a side which you can access anytime by tapping into your core, your axis, your source of life.
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I’ll make a small digression from the above topic of basing your decision on the foundation of your life, to talk about increasing the probability of success when you exteriorize yourself, by way of giving birth to a product, a business, an artwork, etc.
When you bring your product out into the world, you are putting a piece of yourself out into the market. If you breathe life into it, if every step of its design and manufacturing is infused with your excitement and passion, then it will carry that energy. When it hits the market, people feel the energy, which will attract a lot more attention and interest. Because your product has warmth.
On the other hand let’s say you produce a product because you want to make money, because you see a hole in the market and you try to fill it, then you are acting not on your foundational values, you are not breathing your warmth into it, rather, you are perhaps acting on your need for money, in which case you are breathing your lack into it, then it attracts lack in the market–a lack of interest and appreciation.
If you don’t feel confident that you can put a piece of yourself into your product, that you have to fulfill the market’s appetite, then there is another question for you: what is hindering you from putting your most authentic self out there?