In all things, be happy for, and with, everyone, in whatever they choose to celebrate. Be for those around you. Take time to understand what is important to others and encourage their achieving success. Always understanding that their “win”, may not be your “win”.
This is my only answer to discrepancies in experience and income in the world. It is why I do not preach a certain religion. It is also why I have given up trying to save the world. What is important to me, is not important to everyone. Even if I find a few million people with the same ideology, my efforts are in vein, if my focus is on converting thoughts, behaviors, or beliefs.
There are those that believe we create our circumstance. Some believe everything is given from a god they define as this or that version of a story they have heard. Greed disguises itself as a mission. Piety masks itself as outreach. Arrogance is touted as enlightenment. Meanwhile, most of humanity, is just trying to figure out a way just to make it through the day.
Before it appears as if I am anti-religion, let me say I am a fan. Some people watch football on Sundays. I enjoy watching religion. Selfishly, my studies in college were designed as such, that I now can say I have a degree in religious studies. Admittedly, I know much less about religion than most fans know about football. But, as they say, I dig it.
I am not the guy that puts it down and feels better, and I am not the guy who believes I have a better answer. As a parent, I understand the need for teaching. As an employee, I understand the need for some type of structure. I have not graduated from the need for religion, but I have outgrown my need to be right about the divine.
Religion, among other things, affords individuals, the belief that they are right about the divine. There is nothing wrong with that in and of itself, but it takes away the mystery for me. If you want definite answers, ask a preacher, guru, priest, or teacher. If you want an adventure, ask the creator of worlds.
Enough about that. What about the win? The win is different for everyone.
Life has given me the opportunity to travel. Other countries, other cities in the United States, as a missionary, a sales rep, a recruiter, as a mentor, as a vacationer. Each trip was an experience I could learn from and also accomplish what I had set out to do before I went. But, what did I learn?
As a missionary to Zambia, I did not perfect my skills at converting others to my religion, but I learned that the people living there most likely did not need my version of the Christ. As a member of a conference celebrating differences made in business, I learned that there were still those in Miami that simply needed help. In D.C., I did not buy into the belief that the world was in distress, but I met an alcoholic, “semi-homeless” man, that changed my life.
Jamaica did not need me to paint the outside of a school, as much as it needed me to hear the life of the town wanderer. Alaska did not help me save my first marriage, but it did help me to begin to see the beauty found in nature. Regardless of where I found myself in my life, there was always something more going on than what I intended. This is why I listen to nothingness and try to learn the lessons found in silence.
The win in everything is the win that is heard from others. There is no universal experience of life, and in a very real way, we are unable to help others until we hear what they need. Sometimes, the hearing of what they need, is what they need the most. Just because I really needed a tank of gas one week, does not mean that my efforts in a leper colony will be helped by buying everyone a tank of gas.
We all have our own gig. We are all doing what we can to help others and ourselves. I find myself often in two, three, even four worlds at a time. Business me. Team leader me. Family me. Thinker me. So many versions and so little time. What helps me most, is the time in the morning, where I am the nothing me. The blank slate me.
I recommend you become the nothing you also. Upon rising from and going to sleep, allow yourself to be new and to be nothing. As Meister Eckhart advises, be a beginner each day. Be the nothing you, but only in relation to what corner you painted yourself into the day before. Only in relation to what you think you know.
There is a difference between being nothing, and being nothing in a world of possibility and miracles. Life is, indeed, a buffet of experience. It is not that your prayers or meditations will change the day, but it is completely that your prayers and meditations will change what you notice during the day. We are not to only change the outcome of days, but we are to affect the days in the best ways possible.
Our noticing miracles, and opportunities to play with life, do not affect the ultimate outcomes, but they do affect us. When we begin to look for signs of purpose and believe nothing is by chance, we will change our perspective. If we take what we consider negatives, and ask what we might learn, there is no negative at all. It is as simple as believing you are a student of life, and not a victim of life. Later we can talk about our being creators of life.
You are a big deal. You are not the only big deal, but a big deal still the same. The universe, or God, or Source, or the divine, or whatever you choose to call it, is for you. Regardless of what others want you to do or believe. Not only for you, but for you still the same.
Offer compassion, kindness, empathy, and consideration to others, yes, but also offer it to yourself. This is the beginning of the working of miracles in the world. This is the win.