These are turbulent times we live in and people respond in different ways to the strife around us. I see many clients wrestle with how they can possibly contribute to the kind of change they want to see happen in the world. Some feel despondent and powerless to effect any change that could be of significance. Some feel fearful and stuck. It’s hard to imagine we can do anything that is meaningful enough. These feelings lead to powerlessness and paralysis.
I want to offer a perspective on this struggle that I believe is really key. Regardless of how much strife there is in the world, our ability to be of value and to impact the world begins with our personal growth. Ramana Maharshi was an Indian sage who taught self-inquiry. He said, “Your own Self-Realization is the greatest service you can render the world.” How true. Self-realization is what eventually leads to impactful service. When we firmly know who we are through a process of self-inquiry, then the way we are best of service naturally flows forth.
Although it may seem self-indulgent and perhaps counter-intuitive to look inward while there’s work to be done in the world, it is actually the way to be of greatest value to the world. When people understand themselves so that clarity can arise, action has the potential to be extraordinarily focused and powerful. In fact, I’d go a step further to say we cannot really bypass ourselves if we want to be truly effective in the world.
So keep looking inward.