Self-trust is the first secret to success.
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

   

The MONTHLY Motivator - April 2014

path

Life is achievement

Life is achievement. An important characteristic that distinguishes living things from non-living things is achievement.

Think about that. A rock is not alive. A rock sits there. A rock has some value and purpose, but it’s not a dynamic value. The rock can’t do anything to create any more value. It’s there.

But a living thing is constantly achieving. Just the process of staying alive is an achievement. And it follows, logically, that the way to make life richer and even more fulfilling than it already is, is to expand on that achievement, to find new, creative, unique, valuable and meaningful ways to achieve, to make a difference, to extend that inherent achievement that’s already within us. Every moment of every day your body is achieving the goal of keeping you alive, of taking the food that you eat and processing it, turning it into useful energy and nutrients that feed your cells and maintain the life you have. Without that, you would be like the rock—inanimate. The physical world constantly challenges your very existence as a living being. If your cells were not creating energy and if your body was not hydrating itself and breathing in air and taking in nutrients, it would decay and literally fall apart. It would soon cease to exist. Dig up a hundred-year-old coffin in the cemetery and look inside. That’s what you would soon become without the achievement that your body is constantly creating.

So life is achievement at its very basic level. Every living thing achieves. And the more richness you want in your life, the more achievement you have to have. Achievement is life, and a profound and meaningful life consists of profound and meaningful achievement.

Most of your desires, at some level, if you dig down deep enough, are desires to achieve something, desires to matter, to make a difference. The desire for sex is a big one. When you think of the word desire that’s one thing that comes to mind quite quickly. Well, what does sex do? Biologically, it’s the basis for a very existential achievement, of creating a new life. Another big desire, the desire for food and drink, sustains life. The desire to be popular is also a very common desire. In general, people who are popular are people who do what? They’re people who add something of value to the lives of other people. So if you have a desire for other people to like you, somewhere within that desire is the desire to matter, the desire to make a difference for those other people, because that’s what will get them to like you.

Every desire has within it a component of making a positive difference. Even the desire to destroy can have within it the desire to make a positive difference. Because another fact of life is that by destruction you pave the way for new creation.

Now the thing is, these desires can become perverted. We don’t sometimes dig deep enough into the desires. We can get obsessed by their superficial components. We get obsessed by the stuff on the surface. For example, you have a desire for good nutrition, but somehow that can get perverted into overeating junk food. And that perversion builds on itself, because you have the desire for good nutrition and you attempt to satisfy that desire with junk food, and that doesn’t satisfy the desire. So you think, well, maybe more of the same, more junk food, will be the answer, to finally satisfy that desire. So you eat more and more junk food, and of course that doesn’t satisfy the desire, and it causes all sorts of other problems in your body. It can snowball and get out of control and be very destructive. Until, that is, you go back and you realize what’s really at the heart of that desire. At the heart of that desire is the desire to make a positive difference, the desire to feed your body good nutrition. When you go deep enough, and you connect with that authentic desire, you’ll be led to find ways to satisfy the desire for good nutrition. That’s when things start to turn around. That’s when you begin to get a sense of true fulfillment.


To continue reading this member-only content, please log in if you are a current subscriber/member, or if you’re not already a member, you can join today for an annual price of just $15 and get immediate access to the full text of this article and many others, plus additional member-only content such as downloadable audio programs and e-books. If you’re not ready to join right now, we invite you to look through our extensive archive of more than 4,000 shorter daily messages, which are fully available for everyone to read.

—Ralph Marston