When Winning Doesn’t Feel Enough
Boy, you’re dealing with the root here! This is the root of life! This is the root of life. This is totally the root of life. I’m winning, but I don’t feel like I’ve won. You’ve ever been there? You’re there right now? You ever felt this? You will feel this, all of us will feel this at some point, in some time, in waves. Sometimes, it really stings. There’s been times where knowing, looking all around me, living in the lap of luxury and freedom, being able to do what I want, when I want, travel however I want, experience whatever I want, going — my god, why am I so trapped?? Absolutely trapped.
One of my teachers, years back, he said to me, “Satyen, you’re not free, totally free, until you can get up anytime you want, anyplace, go anywhere you want in the world, buy what you want, do what you want, and you don’t need to check in with anyone, you don’t need to ask anyone’s permission, and you don’t even need to notify anyone.” And he said, “How true are you? How close are you to that lifestyle?” I thought of all the people I would have to train to run my business, all the roles and responsibilities that weren’t shored up enough for me to just leave and go wherever I want, anytime I want. I saw hole after hole, all my emotional holes, all my fears of, “Will there be? Well, how would I deal with the money? Who will do my work? What will happen to the marketing? What will happen to the sales that I bring in, etc., etc., etc.? What will happen to my family? What will happen to their well-being? I’ll have to ask permission from my wife.
The truth is, we’re not absolutely free to do what we want, when we want, how we want, to do it when we want to do it. And that feeling of being entrapped in some way, being limited, constrained, pushed down, held in, suppressed – that’s a strong driver for some of us. Some of us can succumb at some time when that is very strong, but many of us are driven to push through it. And we get a lot of energy and excitement. And our heroic nature can grow strong. Our hero’s journey is stepping on to that path of that resistance, to our fullness, stepping on to the path of fear, stepping on to the path of constrain and restraint, and saying we’re going to conquer anyways, regardless in spite of our fear, in spite of our smallness, in spite of the economy, in spite of our challenges – this is powerful. And yet, we can be winning, and be in the heart of that winning. And feel the pleasure, and the high, and the release, and the testosterone of winning, and even in all of that, it can’t be a part of us, that doesn’t feel like we’re winning at all. Some would say that this is the perennial dissatisfaction of life. I’m going to share with you. Please, if you let it, that this is actually a sweet invitation, also a treacherous invitation, to find a vast domain inside of yourself that can never ever be filled by doing or by achieving.
You can slingshot this deep dissatisfaction with life, regardless of all the kudos, whatever is you got in your success account, whatever you have in family, and wealth, and freedom. You can include this part of deep satisfaction, and use it to jump off and leap off into a life of spiritual freedom. Awakening not self-mastery, self-transcendence. Not peak performance, peak existence, when you’ve attained peak performance, and you kick-ass at it. When you know how to win in anytime, anyplace, you can make things happen. If you can start from zero and create again, pull the resources together, and get yourself back on your feet and thrive again. Then, you know that game of winning. That feeling within ourselves that is not winning, it’s never meant to win. It’s a spiritual longing for what is the truth that lies beyond any game of win or loss.
This is a vulnerable place in us as leaders. I know it is for me. And if we just sit with that, where we are, not feeling we’ve won, in our body, what does that feel like? How heavy is it? But shape, is it in our body? How long has that been there? This is an aspect of ourselves, it’s an aspect of ourselves that’s seeking its next evolution. It’s seeking, not the world of gain, but the world of emptiness. Not the emptiness that comes when you fill out water from a bucket, or you empty your bank account – not that type of emptiness. It’s the emptiness of living goalless, living in a place that goes beyond superficial goals that we can generate, coming from a place of profound peace, dynamic stillness and awakening.
I’m going to invite you to sit there for as long as you can, in your dissatisfaction, and feel it fully to the core. And let it unfold for you. It’s here to lead you in to total freedom. Give it its job.