Some people believe that spirituality and success are completely unrelated, and that you can’t have both at the same time. According to the common view, you must either pursue spirituality and leave success for other people, or you must ‘sell out’ in order to achieve success by casting your spiritual values aside.
This is a false dichotomy, and a brief look at the natural world presents a very different possibility. Nature shows us at every turn that it is perfectly normal for all of life to want to express itself as fully as possible.
Plants and trees grow and flourish; fish, birds and mammals have an instinctive drive to mature and multiply; new-born babies develop into fully-grown adults; and the physical universe itself is constantly expanding its boundaries. It is therefore self-evident that success is a perfectly natural thing to pursue, and an equally natural thing to achieve.
But if success is natural, why do so many people feel like failures? And how can a person experience success in life without sacrificing their spiritual values?
The Big Problem
The big problem in today’s world is that it has a very skewed idea about what it really means to be successful, and this demands that people take an equally distorted approach to achieving success.
Imagine a world in which apples become so valued by society that people go to any lengths to get their hands on as many of them as possible. Those who already have plenty of apples continue to grab as many more as they can in the belief that they can never get enough. At the same time, those who have no apples for themselves falsely conclude that they need to lie, cheat or steal in order to grab a few apples from those who have stockpiled plenty.
It sounds like a ridiculous scenario, doesn’t it? But pause for a moment and consider just why this hypothetical situation sounds so ridiculous.
In my opinion, the scenario sounds ridiculous for a couple of reasons.
The first is because we all know that there really isn’t a limited supply of apples in the world. On the contrary, there are as many apples as we want there to be, because any one of us can grow them from scratch. We don’t need to lie, cheat or steal to acquire apples – we can simply plant as many apple trees as we need and create our own orchard which, if tended properly, will keep us well supplied in apples year after year, for the rest of our lives.
Whilst there is some effort involved in growing apples, there is no pain or strain involved – and there is certainly no need to cast aside spiritual values or ideals – because it is a perfectly natural process. All we have to do is recognise the process by which apples grow, start working with that natural process, and reap the inevitable harvest in due season.
The second reason why the apple scenario is ridiculous is because there is no evidence to suggest that apples are any more precious than oranges, pears, plums, cherries, cabbages or potatoes. If I happen to be someone who enjoys pears or bananas, why should I spend my whole life chasing apples? Why not spend my life growing other crops that I would enjoy even more?
The Liberating Truth
The liberating truth is that success tastes different for each one of us, and that all of us can grow our own version of success simply by bringing our lives into alignment with the natural laws that govern such growth.
Most of us wouldn’t be happy eating only apples, or only pears, or only cabbages, to the exclusion of all other possibilities. Instead, most of us would like to enjoy a balanced variety of foods. Similarly, in real life, most of us would define overall success as having an enjoyable balance of health, happiness, satisfaction in our work, rich relationships and financial security.
The good news is that it is perfectly natural to want all of those things – it is just as natural as the acorn desiring to grow into a well-rounded oak tree.
The even better news is that there is also a perfectly natural way of achieving success in all its varieties, and you can succeed in life in a far gentler and more spiritual way than most people would ever think possible.
Grow It, Don’t Force It
Whether you plant an apple tree, or a pear tree, or you sow cabbages or potatoes, you can’t cause your crop to manifest by force. It doesn’t matter how hard you try, how loud you shout or how hard you work, your crop will only manifest when it is good and ready to do so, according to natural law.
If you want a healthy crop, you simply need to tend it and be patient as it grows all by itself. Trying to force the issue would only lead to frustration, and it could possibly ruin the crop altogether.
The Spiritual Way to Success
The Spiritual Way to Success is a new ongoing series of weekly lessons here at Spirituality for Seekers which is designed to help you to grow your own ‘crop of success’ the natural way.
You will learn what true success looks like and why spirituality is the most effective way to succeed in all areas of life. Just as importantly, you will also be given specific techniques, exercises and step-by-step instructions that will enable you to experience success at the highest levels in your own life, just as surely as day follows night.
Are You Ready to Succeed the Spiritual Way?
The Spiritual Way to Success series of lessons is being made available to anyone who chooses to support this website via Patreon. As a regular supporter, you will be making it possible for me to devote a great deal more of my time and energy to Spirituality for Seekers, and that in turn will help more of those who are looking to grow as independent spiritual practitioners.
Make no mistake, you were born to succeed in life, and when you get yourself in alignment with the way the world really works from a spiritual perspective, you will start experiencing success quite naturally.
Just as the young oak tree doesn’t have to strain or strive to grow tall and flourish, so you don’t have to struggle to be happy, healthy and prosperous. In fact, if you are currently struggling – as we all have struggled from time to time – then it could simply be that you aren’t quite in sync with the natural laws of the universe. Get yourself in alignment, as you will learn in The Spiritual Way to Success, and you will start noticing the positive results almost immediately.
Being a spiritual seeker is much more than just a label. Of course, there is nothing wrong with calling yourself a Seeker, but if that is all that you do, you will never experience any of the real-world – and often life-changing – benefits that come from the actual practice of seeking.
Calling yourself a Seeker when you don’t spend at least some of your time actively seeking is much like calling yourself a cyclist when you don’t even own a bicycle – it might sound impressive to some, but ultimately the label itself is hollow and meaningless.
Spirituality for Seekers exist to encourage you to actually do the work of seeking, and not to simply think or talk about that work.
In one of my early posts (What Is a Seeker?) I defined a Seeker as ‘an individual who is actively looking to discover and use spiritual truths with the intention of living a richer, happier and more meaningful life, but I didn’t go into very much detail about the ‘actively looking’ part of that definition.
Today I want to address that topic, and I sincerely hope that you will take your time and consider my words carefully, because if you find that they resonate with you, and you begin seeking in earnest, you will unleash a power in your life that is almost impossible to describe.
‘Seek, and you will find.’ – Matthew 7:7
Seeking is the act of looking for something. A treasure-seeker is someone who looks for treasure, a pleasure-seeker is someone who looks for pleasure, and a spiritual seeker is someone who looks for spiritual truth.
However, there is more to it than that, because the spiritual seeker will always find what he or she is looking for.
The treasure-seeker can set out and seek for days, weeks, months or years and never find any real treasure. Similarly, the pleasure-seeker can look in all sorts of places and never find any real pleasure.
But, as Jesus famously told his followers, those who seek in the spiritual sense will always find what they are seeking.
Unfortunately, most people who are familiar with the ‘seek and you will find’ promise don’t take it seriously enough to apply the principle and reap its rewards.
The Rewards of Seeking
The rewards of seeking in the spiritual sense can be truly infinite.
- In the spiritual realm, seeking can strength your connection with the divine, increase your awareness of yourself as a spiritual being and reassure you of your eternal and deathless nature.
- In the psychological realm, seeking can bring you as much love, joy, peace and happiness as you could ever want.
- In the material realm, seeking can improve your health, increase your physical energy, revolutionise your personal relationships and put you on the road to total abundance in your career and finances.
In short, there is no problem in your life that spiritual seeking cannot transform into something positive.
But there is one important condition….
You Must Seek Correctly
‘Seek, and you will find’ is more than an old saying. It is, in my experience, a basic principle of the universe (which I have previously referred to as the Resonance Principle and which others call the Law of Attraction) but here Jesus presents it together with the key to unlocking its full potential.
That key is to seek, which means to look in a deliberate and specific way.
The Resonance Principle is constantly at work in the life of every individual on the planet, but most people who read about it from Law of Attraction books make the mistake of thinking that it only works now and again. They therefore try to work with the principle by creating a vision board or writing down some affirmations, and so on, but then they live the rest of their lives as if the principle doesn’t apply to how they behave at the workplace, or in a traffic jam, or in a crisis. Sometimes those people get what they placed on their vision board, or what they were affirming for, but just as often they get something completely different which isn’t at all what they want.
The principle of seeking, as Jesus presented it, is a neutral principle, and like a two-edged sword, it can work for you or against you. If it is used consciously and deliberately then you are likely to be amazed at the results that you get with it. However, if you leave it to work without you using it in a deliberate and conscous way, it may well bring you the very things that you hoped to avoid.
‘For the thing which I fear comes on me, That which I am afraid of comes to me.’ – Job 3:25
The Old Testament character of Job complained that his fears had come upon him, but according to the principle of seeking which Jesus taught, that was only to be expected. After all, fear is nothing more than seeking out the negative aspects of a situation. Job focused on the downsides – seeking the negatives – so much that he eventually found what he was looking for. His big mistake was in not realising that he was effectively seeking his own downfall. If that realisation had occurred to him sooner, he might have changed his habits, begun seeking correctly and experienced a complete turnaround in his situation.
How to Seek Correctly
Whatever you seek, you will find, so to seek correctly means deliberately seeking what you want to experience, and to completely cast out of your mind that which you do not want. You don’t need to focus on the latter half of that equation, as that would mean focusing on what you do not want. Instead, focus all of your attention, as consistently as possible, on seeking what you do want in any and all situations, and that alone will force what you don’t want out of the picture.
Do you want to experience better health? Then you should focus your attention on all of the good aspects of your health right now. It may be that you have a certain illness or condition, but if you focus on that you are only seeking more of the same. Of course, you can and should treat the illness or condition, but as far as your mind and spirit are concerned, you should seek out the areas of wellbeing that are not affected by that illness or condition and appreciate them fully.
For example, if you have a broken leg, be sure to get it treated , but start focusing on the fact that you also have a second leg that is perfectly healthy, as well as two arms, functioning internal organs, and so on.
Do you want to experience greater levels of financial success and abundance? Then you should focus your attention on all of the prosperity that you currently enjoy, even if it isn’t as much as you would like to have.
You have access to the internet, for example, which is a form of abundance, and so you should appreciate it. You may also have a car, which is better than no car. Or you might have an umbrella to protect you from the rain, which is better than no umbrella. If you have some money, no matter how little, appreciate it fully. And even if you have no money, you can focus on the abundance of the natural world, which is all around you.
Do you want to experience better relationships? Then you should focus your attention on all of the things that are already going well in your relationships. Forget about any problems that you may be having and seek only the good in the relationships, so that the good may flourish and the problems may wither away of their own accord.
The Principle is a Promise
You don’t have to be a Christian to benefit from the words of Jesus any more than you need to be a farmer to benefit from a sack of potatoes. Simply consider that Jesus presented this principle as a promise.
Seek, and you will find.
Not, ‘Seek, and you might find’ or, ‘Seek, and you could find.’
Seek and you will find.
In any and every situation or circumstance, no matter how challenging it might first appear, make it your job to seek out the positive aspects, however small they seem, so that they can flourish and prosper. Seek out the calm in a crisis, the silver lining in the cloud, the benefit in the bad news, or even the spiritual lesson that you are learning from the experience itself.
Seek out those things and focus on them.
Express gratitude for them.
And let the power of this spiritual principle take care of the rest.