“Forget about yourself and your problems will forget about you” – Lama Gendun
Whatever you’re doing right now, are you doing it just for yourself, or with everyone in mind?
The issue at hand in not defining your goals but finding the right motivation (there’s enough self-help books about goal setting to fill up a sausage warehouse, anyway).
Motivation defines who should be the beneficiary of our work, that question matters because it serves as a foundation for everything we do, consciously or not.
As long as you don’t set ground for a motivation that encompasses others, egotism takes over by default and your life spins around personal concerns that can’t be resolved: getting more attention from your peers, being constantly successful and keeping death at a distance.
It’s only fair to get frustrating results when you narrow your actions down to satisfy personal goals and reality’s tough if we look at it from an individual perspective: people’s attention revolves around themselves (not us), failure shows up far more often than success and death is a certainty that will eventually join us in a bed full of half-completed missions.
On the other hand, things shift radically the moment you decide to include others in the blueprint of your life.
Their indifference melts down when you pay attention to them, your career takes another turn if you aim at serving others and even death is not nearly as threatening when your existence is geared toward the common good.
Easy to say, heh?
And also very tough to apply, in fact, altruistic motivation is often discarded with the argument that it’s “idealistic” and not practical. If you really look though, it’s the best start you can think of, for a personal project or a collective one.
Whatever you’re doing or planning to do, is it somewhat to help other people and ultimately all creatures?
Asking that question is the unique opportunity humans have, not a burden but a gift. It’s also what makes the difference between spirituality and total bullshit.