The Oracle at Delphi states that we must know ourselves.
Most people do not know who they are, they are out of touch with their souls, they do not know their life purpose.
Today, we’re going to be discussing economics in a spiritual sense.
The greatest businesses, innovators, “movers and shakers”, and people of civilization have an extraordinary understanding about their identities. Some very fortunate people are kind of just born with the knowledge, or at least a VERY strong intuition, about their life’s purpose.
They just simply can’t part from a certain activity- it almost seems ingrained in their DNA. But, even then, they too must dig deep within the recesses of their souls to unleash their truest power.
- Oprah Winfrey
- Bruce Lee
- Bill Gates
- Apple (the company)- I hate Apple, but I have mad respect for the company.
- Ayn Rand
- Michael Jordan
Most people, though, will sell their souls for cash, fame, and prestige, because they do not realize how powerful their souls really are. These people are corrupt, and they will stop at nothing to get whatever they desire.
. . .the end justifies the means– Niccoló Machavelli, The Prince. This was a teaching embraced by Hitler.
I’ve also made the error of selling my soul, and I tell you that it is something that nobody should ever do. Stay true to your heart, your ideals, your morality, your vision, and your dreams- never let anyone ever take ownership of these.
What is the Soul?
I’m not talking about religious beliefs here. The soul simply consists of:
- Your Identity
- Your Passions
- Your Beliefs
- Your Morality
- Your ethics
- Your Life’s Purpose
- Your Dreams
- Your Desires
Like I said earlier, the “movers and shakers” of civilization are deeply in tune with their identities.
All you need to know is that when you go about doing anything in life, your actions must be tied into purpose.
Your purpose comes from within, it is a part of your soul, and your soul is untouchable.
You must find a way to turn your soul into something physical, measurable, experiential, or tangible by choosing the best form of work that allows you to do so.
Bruce Lee chose Kung Fu as his mode of expression. What is yours?
In order to do anything great in life you must operate from the reason, because great reasons lead to great actions and achievements. Your reason is your core.
If you do not have a strong reason, then you will not make much impact on the world. A FANTASTIC video that explains these fundamentals follows. Feel free to watch it. If you would rather not, then let me illustrate the basics of what I am teaching- skip to below the video.
Basically, live according to your soul’s values. Inflict your passions onto the world, and have a big enough reason as to why you are taking such action.
When your reason is great enough, nothing can stop you.
Most people live their lives blindly. They don’t know what they stand for, they have no direction, and they are doing things just to get by. This stands for cashiers as well as Doctors: the profession does not matter; if you are doing something you have no passion for, you are selling your soul, albeit at a more innocent and discrete level.
Along the path, there are many people who lose their way. Those who know their purposes and still decide to sell their souls are the worst culprits.
How the Soul is Sold
In order to understand this, we must look at good and bad economics. Good economics are how business SHOULD be conducted. Bad economics deal with businesses which sell your soul.
Good Economics: You exchange your talent or work for a price. Money is amazing, and it certainly is a fair exchange for services rendered. The soul isn’t sold here. Rather, you are marketing your talents. Examples:
- Writing a Book
- Writing a Song
- Designing a Skyscraper
- Building a Sculpture
- Playing a Sport
- Starting a Business
Absolutely anything can be done in the name of good economics. When you operate from your core, when you operate from reason, you are doing well.
No matter what vocation you undertake, you make sure that your soul is fully captured into the work. You are the sole creator, and nobody must be allowed to interfere.
I came here to say that I do not recognize anyone’s right to one minute of my life. Nor to any part of my energy. Nor to any achievement of mine. No matter who makes the claim, how large their number or how great their need. I wished to come here and say that I am a man who does not exist for others.– Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead
Your work is your art, and your vision is important. You make no apologies, and you deliver your essence. More on this will be discussed later. The fact is that infusing your soul with your work is a topic entirely on its own.
Bad Economics: You let your passions be ruled by society. You give up your vision in order that others may be pleased. You choose not to follow your heart, and you conform because you are afraid of being judged. All you care about is fame, money, and prestige; therefore, you will do whatever it takes to reach such heights. You will change your ideas so that others may more readily accept them.
- You LOVE writing, but you decide to become a pharmacist instead because it pays more.
- You wrote a song that gives your soul tremendous bliss, but the people you present it to don’t like it, so you let them change it around for you so that others may more readily accept it.
- You change who you are to impress others.
- You listen to your parents and society when choosing a vocation instead of listening to your own pulse.
- Copying off of others’ work: Theft of this sort will only get you so far before you are exposed.
- Your mind is focused more on receiving value than of giving. This is very important. People who are of Good economics are always focused more on giving than receiving. Looters, people of bad economics, are always trying to find more ways of getting money at absolutely any cost.
Essentially: When you are doing something out your love for it, continue injecting the love into it. Don’t change who you are in order to impress others. You are different. You were born unique. Nobody has your fingerprints, your vocal tone, your eyes, or DNA. Your visions are important, and you must inject your soul into everything you do. Do not sacrifice who you are in order to please others. Do not change your art to please others. Changing yourself, your views, your ideals, your dreams, your visions, your passions, your desires, and your heart is the epitome of selling your soul, and it is the absolute worst kind of business. Yet, it is also the hardest thing to do. Most people live mediocre lives, and they say that they do not care about greatness. I don’t think this is the case. I just think, rather, that most people simply do not believe that their greatness is possible, so they settle. This, too, is a form of selling your soul, though. You made a bargain with the world that you will abide by its rules just as long as it accepts the false image of yourself. You’ve shut your true soul out, and you’re living a life of lies.
Why do they always teach us that it’s easy and evil to do what we want and that we need discipline to restrain ourselves? It’s the hardest thing in the world–to do what we want. And it takes the greatest kind of courage. I mean, what we really want.– Ayn Rand
The whole world does it, and I really believe outsourcing is one of the greatest things anyone can do in order to save time. I haven’t outsourced anything yet, but I’m sure I will be in the future. I would outsource things that do not encompass my soul, things such as:
- Website Marketing
- Web Design
- Proofreading Books for Errors
- Video Production
- Audio Production
These are areas that I do not wish to spend lots of time on, but I would certainly love to make use of the services. It’s just that if I tried to do ALL of these things on my own, it would seriously eat into a lot of my time.
What I will never outsource, however, are the things that belong to my soul. For instance, I will never outsource my writing. Sure, there are exceptions. For instance, if I want somebody to write Terms of Service, a Disclaimer, and other legal information, I will absolutely hire a lawyer. I have no problem outsourcing technical writing; however, all of my blog posts are written by yours truly. My blog is an expansion of my soul, and this is what I do. I do it for myself.
My articles are long, and I may lose a lot of readers because of their length, but I also know that I have a lot of readers who love me because of the depth of information I provide. I do not sell my soul.
But, I have in the past.
The greatest example I can think of is when somebody wanted me to ghostwrite something for him.
I was new to ghostwriting, and I knew it could make me some killer cash. He hired me to write a 100 page book for him for 700 dollars. I jumped at the opportunity; however, I hated every single second of it. Writing is my passion. I lent the man my mind, I lent him my knowledge, I lent him my soul, and he put his name all over it. Sure, it was legal, because we both agreed on the terms; however, it was completely immoral.
The man wanted greatness, prestige, and money. He has no idea about his topic, and he wanted me to do all of the research and do the entire book on my own. He just wanted his name on it.
He does not operate from a “why”. He just wants all the things money can buy, and he is definitely selling his soul. When people begin to see him as an expert, his foundation won’t last long because he has nothing firm to stand upon.
And, I made the error of selling my soul to him. Now, my work has a physical entity in his name. His friends and family think he wrote it, but I wrote it.
Now, I’ll be honest: I did not put my heart and soul into the work. I did it halfassed by making it sound more technical than passionate. Even then, the book ended up being great. I just couldn’t make a bad product. I just had to make sure that I kept as much of my soul away from it as possible.
I made the money, but that week I spent writing was the worst week of my life. I hated myself.
He asked me to do another book for him, and I said no. The price was 800 this time, and I let go.
My soul has no price tag.
…there are places in this world that aren’t made out of stone. That there’s something inside… that they can’t get to, that they can’t touch. That’s yours.- Andy Dufresne, The Shawshank Redemption
Essentially: Outsourcing is fine. You can outsource all kinds of technical details. Just don’t outsource your art. In my case, I won’t ever outsource my blog posts, because they reflect who I am. I actually hate it when any blogger outsources his or her blog’s posts. The blog is stripped away of its soul in that way, because the artist is absent. Trying to do EVERYTHING yourself is dumb, but do not give any man the right to do your soul’s work. That is yours to do and yours alone.
I would even go as far as to saying that you mustn’t even engage in any business practice that does not complement your soul. It’s a means to an end. Seriously, if you haven’t done so now, go check out the video I posted in this blog post. It explains this part very, very clearly.
Don’t sell things you don’t believe in.
Stay true to yourself.
March to the beat of a different drummer.
Have a big enough reason, and then act on that reason.
Don’t change who you are in order to impress others.
Take a stand, and let your name be known to the world.
I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for the sake of mine. – Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
Picture Credit: “Making Friends with Your Money.” Merry Little Notes. Web. 11 Aug. 2010. <http://merryriana.blogspot.com/2009/08/making-friends-with-your-money.html>.
Rand, Ayn, and Leonard Peikoff. The Fountainhead. New York: New American Library, 2005. Print.
Rand, Ayn. Atlas Shrugged / Ayn Rand. New York: Plume, 2003. Print.
“The Shawshank Redemption (1994) – Memorable Quotes.” The Internet Movie Database (IMDb). Web. 11 Aug. 2010. <http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0111161/quotes>.
“Simon Sinek: How Great Leaders Inspire Action | Video on TED.com.” TED: Ideas worth Spreading. Web. 11 Aug. 2010. <http://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action.html>.
Picture Credit:“What Would You Sell Your Soul For?” SodaHead – Ask or Answer Questions, Discuss News, Express Opinions, or Create Polls. Web. 11 Aug. 2010. <http://www.sodahead.com/fun/what-would-you-sell-your-soul-for/question-1129989/?link=ibaf&imgurl=http://images.sodahead.com/polls/001129989/s4s_xlarge.jpeg&q=selling+your+soul>.