This is the start of a series of blogposts and podcast episodes around the topic “Success and Inner Growth. The discussion is structured around the mind map below. Click on the image to scale it up.
The mind map allocates more space to the side of social success than to the side of inner self. But it is important to realise that our spiritual and energy side touches the essence of our existence and acts as our motor.
The way we handle our energy determines in the end our fate in life. Sustainable success is not possible without strong and positive energy. And negative events or arrangements in our life can severely damage our Inner Self, inhibit the flow our energy and finally turn our energy against others and ourselves.
I like a well-structured discussion, so I start today with definitions of four terms: Success, Inner Growth, Persona and Inner Self.
What is Success?
Success in its broadest definition means that you hit a predefined target. You win a soccer game, pass an exam ….
For the purpose of this discussion, I want to narrow down this definition a bit. Success is here a measure of social achievements. This can be
- the money and resources you own or control,
- social status, most often formalised in a hierarchic position in an organisation like a corporation or government established
- influence through a powerful social network
- personal independence and freedom – the ability to make your own choices in your life
This social success manifests itself in your public person.
What is Inner Growth
All of us come with a mission to this world, and this mission is different for everybody. It is, so to say, personalised. This mission is the very reason why your soul decided in the first place to get a body and engage with this world.
This mission specifies a way one’s soul wants to learn, gain experience and grow. The steps of this path to growth frequently imply also to contribute, in one way or another, to the world.
The world is for us humans a secured environment, where we can try ourselves, test new ways and connect with others. We can learn to care for ourselves and the ones around us. And we can try out what happens, when we treat others with care and love, or with disdain, neglect or hate.
The very fact, that the world is a secured environment, means that our power, and our reach beyond our personal world, is limited. This limits the damage we can do to others, to the world and to our own soul. (Although there is certainly lots of space left to hurt us ourselves and the people around us.)
The specific setting, where and how we enter life, is tailored to our personalised mission. As we follow the path of our mission, we experience inner growth. When our soul agrees with the path we take, and continues to grow, we will experience happiness. When we leave our path, or stop moving, our soul will be dissatisfied, and we start to experience lack of happiness up to the point of complete lack of energy and depression.
The term persona has in different contexts various meanings. For this discussion I user “persona” as a term for the publicly visible part of us.
But we do not have complete control of our persona. The way our friends and colleagues view us, becomes part of our persona. The same is true for our CV, which might contain some stations we would like to undo, but we cannot.
But we can influence the way we are seen. The way we behave now, and our current position has a much bigger impact on our publicly seen identity, than some old entries in our CV like a university degree earned 20 years ago. Another way to influence our persona comes by emphasising some of our traits, and by trying to keep others the background or out of public view.
Our persona is important, because it determines the way we participate in social processes like work, and the recognition, rewards and resources we can obtain for our activities. I will discuss later in this series, how to cultivate and maintain a Persona fitting to our missions, challenges and needs.
Our Inner Self
While the term “Inner Growth” relates first and foremost to the needs of our soul, the “Inner Self” talks about our earthly life. “Inner Self” means the view we have from our own life. Persona describes on the other side how the world sees us.
The Inner Self is of course influenced by our soul. In fact, it is very important to keep the attitude of our soul towards our life positive. Otherwise we will lose our happiness and energy.
But our own view of our own life is deeply ingrained in our brain. We could even think of the “Inner Self” as our mindset about ourselves.
People around us have the power to impact our own view of us heavily, especially during childhood. This makes it so damaging, to call a child unworthy, bad or useless.
But as humans we can take full control of our own mind, our own behaviour and by extension of our own life. And if I am in control of my mind and behaviour, I can also build a Self, which I can respect and love.
One of the overarching topics of this podcast will be the question: How can we take control of our own thoughts, behaviour and life.
In the next episode of this podcast we will discuss “Energy.” How do we keep our energy positive? How do we avoid being depleted, suffering a burnout?
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