Unified Living

From yesterday:  Success is a matter of consistently living in accordance with our values, our certain way of seeing.  It is about creating a life that fosters our ability to do that consistently. And, then, it is about allowing ourselves to be affected by those around us such that we're interested in helping them create meaning in their lives.


Yesterday I wrote about what success looks like for one of my best friends.  He has so cultivated the art of service and self-sacrifice that he is not overcome by the wealth and prestige he has acquired.  For him, they are merely tools to be relied on when the situation calls for it.


In order to follow his example, we may need to temper our own ambitions, goals, and desires from time to time.  He lives a unified life and so his ambition does not overtake his vision for life. He does not let one area (work) dominate others.  He is unified in terms of his pursuit of his purpose- his call to love God and others. It is because of this that his work, his wealth and prestige, can be tools, rather than "meaning makers."


And this is another lesson I learn from him: success is about a unified life, trying as much as we can to live without cognitive dissonance.  Meaning, we live consistently. For instance, his work life is such that it could easily become all about the status and the money if he allowed it.  He could work harder for longer and become singularly focused on his work, casting friends and family aside. But, should he do this, he's no longer living in accordance with the certain way of seeing that tells him his call is to be a living reflection of God's values.  So, in this hypothetical, he would have tremendous cognitive dissonance. His actual lived experience would be incommensurate with his belief system. That's a recipe for disaster.