“Give up defining yourself - to yourself or to others. You won't die. You will come to life. And don't be concerned with how others define you. When they define you, they are limiting themselves, so it's their problem. Whenever you interact with people, don't be there primarily as a function or a role, but as the field of conscious Presence. You can only lose something that you have, but you cannot lose something that you are.” -- Eckhart Tolle
There are two aspects to this:
The spiritual; and
The way I earn my living.
But of course they’re inextricably linked.
I could have chosen any (career) path, but I still feel that what I’ve done has chosen me. I know that sounds abstract, but each of the choices made -- engineering, recruitment, law -- all came about in a random way. In no way were they planned, but each one has taught me something about the real me; and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Right now, the work I do, albeit wrapped around the label ‘business development’, is no more and no less than an amalgam of 30+ years of work. But it’s not really me. It’s not me in the sense that my other life -- the spiritual one -- finds it increasingly hard to coalesce the idea of business improvement absent spiritual development (let’s call it higher purpose work). In fact, I would go much further and say that what we lack in business (which is a significant part of our lives) is not the opportunity to climb the corporate ladder but to become who we truly are.
If I had a choice right now, I would much prefer to be doing spiritual work. The trouble is I don’t know what it looks like to the extent that I can generate income to live in a world consumed by its own consumerism.
Nothing I seem to do is easy, at least not by the standards of modern-day living. What could be easier: get a job, go to work, earn a salary, save for retirement and retire. But that’s not me, and never will be. Why? Because, as someone who started their first business at 20, I recognise, now, that I’m an entrepreneur and I should be proud of that and not look for excuses as to why I haven’t fully plugged into the system.
So there’s the challenge: to bring together my paid work with spiritual work (as nascent as it is).
At this stage, I’ve nothing mapped out -- no business plan or the like -- but all my instincts tell me that this will be final chapter of my life. No doubt it will involve more writing, speaking, coaching and travelling but whether I’ll ever be happy to rock up and offer spiritual consulting, I very much doubt it. Just imagine me having to field the usual blithe question: “Yes, Julian, that all sounds wonderful, but what’s the Return On Spiritual Investment?”
Onwards. Forever onwards.