The Spiritual Gangster

Here’s the most important piece of golden information I picked up while reading a book called The Power Of Now by Eckhart Tolle.

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There are two kinds of groups in this world, that define people who have passed the first levels of tests that life gives us. Both of them are somewhat successful and able to handle life due to their own philosophy.

1. The ones that are constantly striving for more, being obsessed with getting a raise in their paycheck and once they get it, they’ll set up another goal and start stressing about the new goal. These are the people who can’t take time off since they’re too busy conquering the world. “Be the best, fuck the rest.”

For instance let’s look at the person who’s making 10$/h. His biggest life goal right now is to increase this number, let’s say by 2 euros. In two years time, after working hard and doing as his told, he gets the long waited raise and starts making 12$/h. His entire life is a tedious struggle filled with anxiety, depression, workacholism and hard stress. This kind of person is living for the weekends, for the holidays, that he or she barely takes due to their desire to become something more. This is not a bad mindset to have, but what it lacks of is common sense, which in these days is extremely hard to find.

2.The ones that don’t set any goals, since they’ve become “spiritual” now. These are the ones who don’t think external values matter, that we should not work towards becoming rich, having cool things, travelling and all the good stuff, and just focus on enjoying life to the fullest.

You’ll find them in clubs, bars, street corners… just about anywhere. If you ask one of them about their life situation, they’ll just say you should relax, everything is fine, I’m enjoying every bit of my time here and am fully happy. Yet, they do not look happy. Many of them are doing psychoactive drugs, experimenting with everything that’s really harmful for our bodies and drastically shortens our lifespan and our life’s quality. They’re more free than the workaholic that I described before, but they’re not much better off.

Ultimately you don’t want to get stuck in either one of these paradigms.

Here’s my solution…

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The philosophy of Tal Ben-Sahar 

The philosophy of Tal Ben-Sahar ties the two parts of how you can have a vision and a goal, and feel present to the moment at the same time perfectly together.

Imagine you’re a mountain climber. Happiness isn’t at the peak of a mountain. Most of us get it, but only a few of us actually understand and act on this belief. If a helicopter picked you up and dropped you on the tip of the mountain, you wouldn’t feel as happy as someone who climbed the mountain. There would be no emotional leverage, no reward, just an empty view that does not mean much to you. At the same time, neither is it down there, aimlessly wandering around the mountain and never taking action towards climbing the mountain. Happiness is not at the peak nor at the base of the mountain. Happiness is the experience of climbing towards the peak. This is ultimately how you want to look at it. You set out a goal that holds great value to you, no matter how big or crazy it is, and then you follow that path that leads you there while you stay present to the moment on the journey.

Eckhart Tolle was a guy who sat on a park bench for years, practising the power of now in himself before writing his best-selling books. He did not climb the mountain, he belong to the second category of what I talked about. Despite this, he never says “don’t climb the mountain”. If he did, then he’d be still sitting on a park bench instead of cashing in millions!

“Attaining lasting happiness requires that we enjoy the journey on our way toward a destination we deem valuable. Happiness, therefore, is not about making it to the peak of the mountain, nor is it about climbing aimlessly around the mountain: happiness is the experience of climbing toward the peak” – Tal Ben-Shahar

 

 

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