Last Updated on June 30, 2022 by Alex
That one thing, the thing you haven’t done to change your life because it serves no practical purpose, won’t get you any immediate rewards and might even draw disapproval from those closest to you. You have to do it.
What am I talking about?
Not going after your dream career, or getting into amazing shape or getting married to the perfect person.
Not any form of conventional success.
I’m talking about the thing your soul longs for you to do, to experience, in order for it to grow.
In our hyper competitive, results oriented and materialistic world very few of us take care of our souls, and it’s one of the biggest mistakes we make.
We focus on the external, at the expense of the internal. And yet the internal—our subjective experience of life—is all we really have.
There is a longing in all of us that emanates from the soul. I don’t have an ideological view of the soul, what I’m referring to is the deepest, most human and individual part of ourselves. It has a voice but it’s a voice that is all too easy to ignore under the pressures of life and the distracting noise of the constant media storm most of us are under.
What is your soul longing for?
You probably already know. It may be something that has come and gone from your consciousness many times.
Or you’ve never consciously gone there and you’ll have to open your ears to your innermost self to find out what it is.
For some it’s traveling the world on foot with a backpack for three years.
For others it’s a long-term retreat in a Buddhist monastery, or a sojourn to Mount Athos, or a pilgrimage to Lourdes.
It could be a half year road trip through North and South America, or hiking the Appalachian Trail, or learning survival skills and living in the deep woods alone for a year.
You may need to disappear up to Alaska or live on a Native reservation and teach in a school or go into the Peace Corps.
The soul longing I am talking about here is the thing that takes you off the track you are on. The conventional track. But only for a while, a certain period of time.
It is the journey into the unknown that calls you, that will change and transform you.
This calling is in all of us. It is a key part of the Hero’s Journey in mythology. It’s a quest and at once a journey elsewhere and a journey inside. It is a calling we all have.
It is transformational precisely because it requires a departure from the common path, the conventional.
What will happen when you take the journey?
Though you may have a clear destination—a monastery in Bhutan—your journey is at a deeper level a journey into the unknown. So a part of the answer to the question is that you can’t know.
But there are some things you can count on:
- The journey will challenge you like you’ve never been challenged before. The soul seeks growth and growth is hard. It will also be exhilarating as you feel more alive than ever before.
- The journey will transform you on the inside. You will not be the same person you were before you undertook it. Don’t quit along the way, see the change through.
- You will be much, much stronger, more stable and have a clearer sense of self than ever before. Give it what it needs and your soul will reward you with confidence.
- Your life will never be the same. It isn’t just you on the inside that will change, but you will change your life externally too. Your true values will be stronger. Your decisions will be different. You will come back to a conventional life—that is overwhelmingly likely—but it probably will be a different life than you thought it would be.
- Your chances of success in your conventional life will be greatly improved. Confident, self-assured and self-knowing people do better. They are persistent and clear eyed, knowing what they are doing and why they are doing it. You know these people, they are a force that is hard to resist.
- You will never regret it. Ever.
What are you waiting for?