When you apply these 6 principles below to your life and make them a part of your spiritual practice, you’ll begin to see what may have been hidden from view in the past. You will discover a freedom, a comfort and an empowering guidance system for living an inspired life now.
Principle #1: Be Independent of the Good Opinions of Others
In order to live in-Spirit, we must adopt Arthur Miller’s trust that the Source is always working within us, or Walt Whitman’s belief that our ultimate calling may be regarded by others as being useless – yet it is our dream, it is our lodestar. In other words, inspiration must be the master, even though following it might disappoint others.
When inspiration makes its presence known, we must pay attention if our priority is to be who or what we were meant to be. William Shakespeare’s famous query, to be or not to be: that is the question symbolizes the urgent choices that we have to make – that is, do we become what we came here to be, or do we ignore that calling? In this oft-quoted soliloquy, Hamlet delves deeper by wondering, Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer/The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, / Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, / And by opposing end them?… Suffering the consequences of living according to someone else’s wishes doesn’t make any sense; rather, we need to oppose the external opinions that try to force us to be what we’re not intended to be.
There are many well-meaning people in our lives who have ideas about what we should or shouldn’t be doing … relatives tend to be specialists in this area! If we let them guide us with advice that isn’t congruent with our inner calling, we’ll suffer the anguish – the “slings and arrows” – of an uninspired life. Each of us can feel what we’re being called to be; when we listen, we can hear our own impatient voices coaxing us to listen and complete the assignments we brought with us from the world of Spirit. But when we allow the opinions and dictates of others to determine what we’re going to be, we lose sight of our objective to live an inspired life.
We need to determine for ourselves how much we’ve allowed others to decide issues such as what we do, where we live, with whom we live, and even how we’re treated. We must know that absolutely no one else truly knows and feels what we’re here to accomplish, so we must give ourselves permission to hear our inner guidance and ignore the pressure from others. Regardless of how absurd our inner calling might seem, it’s authentically ours and doesn’t have to make sense to anyone else. The willingness to listen and act on our inspiration, independent of the opinion of others, is imperative.
Principle #2: Be Willing to Accept the Disapproval of Others
Logically following the last principle, this one notes that we’re going to incur the disfavor of many people when we follow our inclinations to be in-Spirit and live the life we came here to live. This isn’t a selfish or cynical attitude: When we begin to follow our ultimate calling, there will be a lot of resistance. In fact, the purpose of the “slings and arrows” sent our way is to get us to change our mind and be “reasonable,” which translates to “Do it my way!”
However, as we gain the strength to ignore the pressure to conform, resistance will diminish and ultimately change to respect. When we steadfastly refuse to think, act, and conform to the mandates of others, the pressure to do so loses its momentum. All we have to do is endure some initial disapproval such as dogmatic persuasion, anger, pouting, silence, and long-winded lectures…and then we’re on our way to inspiration rather than frustration.
The people who receive the most approval in life are the ones who care the least about it – so technically, if we want the approval of others, we need to stop caring about it and turn our attention to becoming an inspired being of sharing. One little note of caution here: When we raise our children according to these principles, and they observe us living them on a daily basis, we’ll have to deal with their determination to respect their inner calling.
Principe #3: Stay Detached from Outcomes
Inspiration doesn’t come from completing tasks or meeting goals; in fact, that’s the sure way to have it elude us. Returning to Spirit, you see, is an experience of living fully in the present moment. Our purpose in life isn’t to arrive at a destination where we find inspiration, just as the purpose of dancing isn’t to end up at a particular spot on the floor. The purpose of dancing – and of life – is to enjoy every moment and every step, regardless of where we are when the music ends.
Many of us are seduced into believing that having goals is necessary for a successful life, especially since we’ve been brainwashed by slogans such as If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you’re there? and Not having a goal is more to be feared than not reaching a goal. This kind of logic keeps us from feeling inspired because we live a life of striving while foregoing arriving.
A more rewarding spiritual truth is that there’s only now – and when this moment passes, it will be replaced by another one, ad infinitum. To use up our “present now” being consumed with a “future now” that will only turn into a “then” is the prescription for the absence of inspiration.
Since there’s only now, learning to live in it and enjoy every present moment is the same as being in-Spirit, while being focused on an outcome to determine our level of happiness and success keeps us out of Spirit.
Yoga master Sri Swami Sivananda offered the only worthwhile goal I know of when he said that the goal of life is God-realization. Now here’s a goal I can live with! After all, this allows me to live in-Spirit every moment of my life, while simultaneously thinking ahead to the next God-realized moment (and the next). As the great Indian sage Ramana Maharshi once remarked, There is no goal to be reached. There is nothing to be attained. You are the Self. You exist always.Now this is real inspiration.
Manifesting Your Soul’s Purpose with Dr. Wayne Dyer
Principle #4: Know That We Need Nothing/No Things to Be Inspired
We came into this world of boundaries from a formless energy field of Spirit. We arrived here with nothing/no things, we’ll make our exit with nothing/no things, and our purpose (God-realization) requires nothing/no things. We are all that we need to be inspired and living on purpose, and the things that continue to flow into our life are just symbols of the unlimited abundance of our Source. In other words, these things have no value in and of themselves because everything in the physical world is changing and will dissolve back to nothingness anyway.
The objective Universe is not made up of things – it’s made up of waves of motion that stimulate the things we’re taught to believe are real. Once we accept that, from an infinite perspective, everything we see in nature isn’t really what it seems to be, we’re able to convert what we view with our eyes into a knowing about all things. Then we can recognize that the objects we believed we needed to feel inspired are nothing from Spirit’s perspective. This is what distinguishes the physical person from the spiritual person, the inspired person from the uninspired person.
We’re beings of Spirit, living from mind (rather than the body with all of its inherent restrictions), so if we communicate with God in the language of light and energy, we’ll see His tolerant amusement at our preoccupation with the illusion of possessions. We don’t need more of anything to become inspired; rather, we need to take our attention away from what we see and move into the miraculous world of Spirit, where joy and bliss await us.
Remember: We’re already connected to everything that we think is missing from our life. Below and above the ranges that our eyes and ears perceive, the entire activity of creation remains invisible and inaccessible – but when we shift from sensory searching to trusting what we know, we discover the folly of chasing after anything in order to feel inspired. All we need is a conscious realignment so that our thoughts begin to match up vibrationally with Spirit, which we know is a part of us already. And our state of inspiration is what allows for this realignment.
When we tune in to what we know rather than what we see, we immediately find that every thought of God is repeated throughout the Universe. We can watch as some things enter our life and others leave, all the while remaining in-Spirit, knowing that all of those things have nothing to do with our state of inspiration. We need nothing more to be inspired, since we’re connected to Spirit already.
Principle #5: “Don’t Die Wondering”
This principle is extremely important in working toward an inspired life because it motivates us to act – after all, we don’t want to be full of regrets because we failed to heed our ultimate calling. Attempting to do something, even if it doesn’t succeed, is inspiring because we don’t tend to regret what we do, we regret what we didn’t do. Even following a futile attempt, we’re inspired because we know that we gave it a shot. It’s wondering whether we should or shouldn’t try something that leaves us feeling stressed and incomplete.
Inspiration has nothing to do with whether we win or lose; in fact, if we just play the game of life, we’ll have plenty of wins and losses, regardless of our talent level. If we fail to even try because of fear of rejection or doubt about our talent, we’re going to go through life wondering, and that’s what keeps us from finding and feeling inspiration.
Principle #6: Remember That Our Desires Won’t Arrive by Our Schedule
There’s an ancient aphorism that goes, “If you really want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.” In essence this means that all we desire will arrive in our life when and only when we’re aligned vibrationally with the energy of our Source. Our ego won’t be consulted or get to determine the schedule – the Creator reveals Its secrets when It’s good and ready. Our job is to take the focus off of the when and put it on being connected to our originating Spirit. Our job is to stop challenging and demanding responses from God, and instead be more like Him. Our job is to understand and accept that all of the things that show up in our life, which we often find contradictory or troublesome, are there because we’ve attracted them … and we need to have these obstacles in order to clear an opening for our true Spirit purpose to emerge.
We’re much more successful when we allow inspiration to flow in on God’s terms than when we’re impatient and demanding. As always, our job in God-realization is to become more like God – that means surrendering to the timetable that’s always perfect, even when it seems to be full of errors.
Keep these six principles handy and access them anytime you find yourself lacking inspiration. Remember, too, that we’re called to this world of inspiration, which beckons us to “let go and let God,” as they say in the recovery movement. I also love this advice, which was tendered by one of my favorite teachers, Napoleon Hill: “If you can’t do great things, do small things in a great way. Don’t wait for great opportunities. Seize the common, everyday ones and make them great.”
Affectionately called the “father of motivation” by his fans, Dr. Wayne W. Dyer was an internationally renowned author, speaker, and pioneer in the field of self-development. Over the four decades of his career, Wayne Dyer wrote more than 40 books (21 of which became New York Times bestsellers), created numerous audio programs and videos, and appeared on thousands of television and radio shows.