“You cannot get there from here;
You can only get here from there.”
What does this mean?
It means to start from the end.
In eastern philosophy, you are taught to treat yourself as if you are already that which you’d like to become.
So here’s how you apply this little known law of life…to leadership and to the living of a spiritual life.
In life, act as if you already are that which you’d like to become. Get a clear picture in your mind, for example, as to the person you want to be. As you do, the steps to becoming that person will automatically reveal themselves. The universe – what I call God – will arrange life in such a way so as to cooperate in the fulfillment of your desires. In other words, you will always know what to do today — that is, what steps to take — after you get clear about who you are today.
In leadership, it is the same. If you wish to become a great leader, know that you are inviting the universe to provide the means to help you realize it. I used to laugh, for example, at the absurdity of Saint Paul’s words in Romans 5:3-5, “…for we know that trouble produces patience in us.” Since I have always been a rather impatient person, I used to pray for “patience,” not knowing that, by giving my attention to that virtue, I was inviting the universe to provide the occasions…the experiences…today that would help me take the steps needed to become the person I imagined being.
I’m coaching a very powerful man, by company standards, who oversees an organization of more than 8,000 people. He wants to become a better leader. Once he decided that this was his ambition…his passion…his desire, I have had to remind him lately that the challenges to his leadership that have been recently overwhelming is Life’s way of providing him the pathway to fulfillment.
Start from the end.
It is the same in the spiritual life. But it is not the same either.
How’s that for confusing?
Here’s what I mean. For most of my life, I have desired a feeling of closeness to God…to my Divine Source. Yet, in spite of the steps I would take, the arduous effort I would give to the development of a consistent and rewarding walk of faith, I always felt as if I was coming up short…not quite making it. My religious tradition was little help, too. In fact, it was obsessively concerned with pointing out my failures. But, I needed no help in knowing where I was screwing it up. I knew all too well.
Then, one day I awakened out of that endless cycle of spiritual frustration. I realized that, unlike life and leadership or, for that matter, anything else, whenever I felt the desire to live and walk in the Presence of God, I realized I was at that instant right smack in the middle of that Presence already.
I am already the spiritual person I long to be. You, too.
I am already as close to the Divine as I’ll ever be. The same is true for you.
God is not “out there” somewhere…a spiritual Treasure you’ll only find after digging deep into the soul of your spiritual efforts…spiritual disciplines…spiritual perfection.
At the precise instant you think of God…you feel for God…you desire God…
At that precise instant you and God are one – eternally one.
Your spiritual practice is to remind yourself of this. But, don’t make a problem out of practice. Don’t turn this beautiful spiritual truth into some kind of religious struggle. Instead, know that just the thought of God in you IS the Presence of God. As you give attention to every thought, or to every impulse you feel to know God, then the feeling of God’s nearness will expand.
The reason I pray…I meditate…I discipline myself to life from the place of my higher self is not because I am then finally rewarded by God for my good efforts.
I engage in these spiritual practices because they help me expand my consciousness of God’s immediate Presence.
Only in the spiritual realm does the law above work both ways. While in life and/or in leadership, you get clear about what you wish to become, start treating yourself as if you are already that which you wish, and then know that your daily experiences, encounters, etc will be orchestrated by the Universe to carry you in the direction of your dreams.
In the spiritual realm, however, you get both there from here AND here from there.
In other words…
You LONG TO KNOW GOD; and then, you make the wonderful discovery that…
…the LONGING IS GOD.