Share this content

Are We Persevering Or Being A Blockhead? Here's How We Know!

Bernie Sanders has been a radical since the 1960s, but his influence has been extremely limited until now. Today he is the leader of a political revolution. Perseverance or block-headedness? Your cousin's daughter has been going to auditions for years, trying to make it as a rock star. She hasn't made it yet, but she's still trying. Perseverance or denial?

Let's look at ourselves. How can we tell when we should keep persevering and success is around the corner, or when we're just pushing the boulder up the hill and ignoring the obvious? It's not easy to distinguish until after the fact, but one thing is sure: The question is wrong.

We can't know the result of our efforts in advance. But that is not the issue anyway. If we are guided by future success, then we're making success God, and it's not.

Perseverance or being a blockhead? You can actually know. Just look within, check out your motives and love yourself for being willing to even ask the question.

So Should We Persevere or Not?

Let's talk about when we should persevere or when we're being blockheads. First, the obvious: We can't know if we'll be successful until we are, so how can we know in advance when we're being diligent, thinking positively and soon to be rewarded, or when we're being misguided, delusional and out of reality? We don't. That means that we can't know which we are until "it" happens - we get a great chance on some TV talent show, or our daughter quits heroin for good, or our heartthrob who ran off with someone else returns to us with tears of remorse.

The truth is that we can't know in advance whether or not we are going to have a sudden stroke of luck - no matter how great we are or think we are. So if that is true, success can't be our guide. Beyond that, how do we know that even a stroke of luck will be so lucky? Maybe we get discovered by Hollywood and end up with a cocaine addiction and we're dead of an overdose? Or maybe our heartthrob turns out to be an asshole in the long run or gets cancer in a year and dies on us, leaving us in debt and devastated emotionally? So did we win after all?

But beyond the fact that "success" is unpredictable, success in itself is no measure of quality. Just listen to the smashingly successful music that you think is garbage. Or examine your reaction to some other fad or some violent, exploitative film that's raking in the millions. Success and quality don't always mix, that's for sure.

So if the end result is unknown, permeable or devoid of meaning, how can we know if we should persevere? We can't, not if we are measuring ourselves by an end result. But what if there's another way to determine whether or not to persevere?


What Does Ego Have to Do with It?

In a world dominated by ego, where it's all about "me", most of us are dominated by ego, too. Consciously or unconsciously we feel we must prove ourselves to ourselves or others. This is pure ego, and it's a lousy motivation for persevering. I must send my daughter to her fourth rehab, because I am proving I am compassionate or I'm afraid someone will blame me if she overdoses. I must keep trying to succeed in the music biz to prove to others I have talent. I need to win the guy, woman, or prize, because otherwise I'm a loser. Inside we're fighting negative judgments, comparisons, and negative self-talk. I've got to prove I'm right, and my mother won't stop me. I'll show them. I'll make them eat their words.

This is guidance by the ego. It has nothing to do with acting for the highest good. So even if in the end we "succeed," we are still being dominated by the wrong energies and we've succeeded in letting our egos boss us around. Which means that it really doesn't matter whether or not success is around the corner. If we're going after something for the wrong reason, our success is just another loss in disguise.

If, on the other hand, we are acting from guidance for the highest good of all, success is irrelevant. We are doing the right thing for ourselves and others, and if we are persevering to do right, no amount of failure or rejection will change that. After 300 rejection letters, I am still writing books because I feel guided to express certain feelings and hope that this will help others as well.

So How Do We Know What to Do?

So to sum it up, whether we are persevering or being a blockhead is not measured by end results. It is measured by motivation. Wow. NOW we have a way to evaluate our behaviors.

Here's an example. For 50 years you've been trying to bring the attitude of Oneness to your religious congregation, trying to get them to drop racism or homophobia. If you've been doing it out of a prove-it energy, the whole adventure is contaminated. But if you feel guided to make that contribution to your world because it feels like it's for the highest good, you are doing the right thing, regardless of the result. And you may never know what that result is, as people's hearts change slowly or silently, or the hearts of their children may be impacted, even though that change might be outside the spectrum of what you can see.

So if you are struggling 6 months or 60 years, you may be right on, no matter the outcome, just as long as you feel guided for the highest good of all. And at the same time, if you keep persevering and "win," you may actually be the real blockhead, feeding your ego, instead of your soul.

Like so many things in our world, we judge things from the outside and that's upside down. Therefore, if you feel the call to work on your art, start a revolution or try to heal the world, do it without regard for your capacity for success. And on the contrary, if your determination is about puffing yourself up in an effort to look important or valuable, give it up. You are only being dominated by the ego, which will make your soul sick in the end.

Perseverance or being a blockhead? You can actually know. Just look within, check out your motives and love yourself for being willing to even ask the question.

Previous/Next Post

Previous/Next Post