The local PBS station is trying to raise money by playing big self-help programmes.
“You can become the person you want to be!” said one presenter.
Oy. Don’t we all wish that we could actually become the person we want to be? What a lovely wish!
Joseph Campbell was more clear. If you work really, really hard, fighting the dragon with “thou shalt” on every scale, shedding your skin, being in the moment, doing the work, then maybe, just maybe, you can become the person you really are.
I may want to be Clare Teal or Joanna Gleason, but if I struggle and transcend, the best I can be is Callan.
That’s not something someone trying to get your money really wants to promise. He wants to say he can help your fulfil your desires and not just fulfill your destiny.
Desire is such a weaselly thing. Unless we want something, it’s hard to find the energy to take the crap of everyday life. That’s why we have these lovely illusions that if we just get the next thing we covet then our life will be perfect and satisfied. It never is, of course.
Goals and visualizations are often set as magical by success trainers, telling us that if we dream it we can own it. Once we get those images of desire into our heads, though, it becomes easy to believe that the end justifies the means, that whatever we do to get what we imagine should be ours is part of claiming success.
When people get unbalanced, off-course, corrupt is when their desire overwhelms their integrity. We give up what we know to be right and good to obtain what we have convinced ourselves that we deserve.
What will make us happy, satisfied, content and fulfilled isn’t the result of coveting something we see someone else having and then doing whatever it take to get that. Trying to be the person we want to be is a formula for frustration and desperation.
It is when we make the most out of every moment in our lives, making bold and vulnerable choices, putting our sweat and our creativity into the opportunities that are in front of us that we create our best life. Sure, we make take bits we admire from others, but unless we forge them into our own unique and very personal creation, they will always be just bolt on bits that don’t open our own power in the world.
It’s easy to get covetous and see what we want in the world. It’s much harder to want what we have, to take that mess and beauty that is us and make the most of it in the world, creating our own unique successes and our own special happiness.
The best you can be is invisible to you at this point, invisible to the world. No one can imagine or visualize the magical possibilities that lie within you if you struggle and sweat and dance to get them into the world, to polish and develop them into something the world has never seen before.
You can’t be the person you want to be. That is a quest to frustration.
But if you do it right, you can be much more of the person you are. That is a quest to delight.
But selling to your desire to just buy someone new off the shelf with a new dress, or a $180 set of DVDs is still the best way to get your cash. You can get what you covet, people tell you, and when this purchase doesn’t get that, well, there will always be something else to purchase, another promise you can put on your credit card.
Buy what you love and what you need. But you have to make your own balance, integrity and bliss to become the person you really are.