I just received an email from an author asking for help. He wants me to share his book with my contact list. “One of my lifelong dreams is to hit the NY Times Bestseller list,” he wrote.
He reminded me of me when I released my first book “Stay Tuned”. I thought “If I could just get this in Oprah’s hands, I’d be OK.” I checked its status on Amazon daily. I was so proud of it, but that wasn’t enough. I wanted others to be proud of it too. I figured that praise from a list or from a celebrity would make me whole and that I would be better somehow with mass approval.
What I didn’t realize was that I needed to do more work on myself. I was letting the outside world determine if I was OK.
We live in a society that is so addicted to the approval of others. If this other author makes it to that list, will he be content? It could be a fabulous book, I don’t know because I haven’t read it yet. If he sells a ton of them, it might put some money in his pocket, sure. It’s great to be celebrated and respected, so being on the bestseller list would probably feel wonderful. Until that high wears off and then it’s time to get on the top of another list.
In the last 15 years I’ve interviewed many gurus and authors who’ve had bestsellers. The ones who really stood out weren’t spreading their messages to be famous. They were spreading their words of wisdom because they wanted to help people first. Their fame and money came from their authentic need to help the world, not from their desire to be on the top of the list.
If you are doing ANYTHING because your motivation is to be on a list, or win an award, or get kudos from famous people, then your EGO is running the show. Period.
I love the acronym Edging God Out that Wayne Dyer uses with EGO.
Now don’t get me wrong- I get that having goals is a good thing. It’s important to “reach for the stars” as my tagline says for my second book “I’m Spiritual, Dammit!” But don’t let your happiness be determined by your accomplishments. That is like standing on quicksand. Your happiness needs to come from your relationships with others, but more importantly, your relationship with yourself.
You better still like you regardless of how many books you sell. Regardless of how many medals you win. You are enough, even if you are sitting on your couch doing nothing.
We grind our gears thinking goals will fill the hole and make us whole, and guess what….It just creates more need to succeed. You never stop chasing your tail. You are Edging God Out.
When you come from your heart, you will create life long success.
So ask yourself as you go through your day, “Is this serving my head (ego) or my heart?”
The heart will always win in the end.