One of my Facebook friends posted this from the Bhagavad-Gita the other day;
“You have the right to work, but for work’s sake only. You have no right to the fruits of work. Desire for the fruits of work must never be your motive in working… Renounce attachment to the fruits. Be even-tempered in success and failure… Work done with anxiety is far inferior to work done without such anxiety, in the calm of self-surrender… To unite the heart with Brahman and then to act: that is the secret of non-attached work.”
This spoke to me so strongly because this is the exact issue that I’ve been dealing with lately.
We work for money. We work for retirement. We strive for success. We want that nice vacation. We want recognition. We live in a competitive and material world, and so this is simply what we learn.
Especially with work. There are reasons for everything that we do, and I must honestly admit, that when I go to work it is not just for the sake of work.
Or it hasn’t been.
You see, I have this gift. And I’ve known all my life of the gift, and for decades now this has been how I’ve made my living.
Playing music just always came naturally to me, and when I got honest, it was the only thing I really wanted to do.
But then somewhere along the line, some of my friends were becoming successful. Big artists recorded their songs, they got record deals, etc…
Though I had thousands of wonderful experiences playing music and traveling the country, none of this success happened for me.
And I got bitter.
And I was bitter for a long time.
And when you are bitter, you certainly do not feel grateful. You do not feel good at all.
And I knew for quite some time that I just didn’t feel good. Oh, I kept going. Kept playing, have been studying spirituality, going to school online and all that.
But deep down I knew that I wasn’t really happy.
It wasn’t long ago that I realized that I hadn’t been happy because I had expected my gift to bring me a gift.
Do you follow that?
Instead of enjoying the gift, instead of being grateful and using my gift to be of service to other people, I was just bitter.
I wanted the success that I saw other people getting. I wanted my gift to bring me a gift. And this was the root cause of my inner unhappiness.
When you need your gift to bring you a gift, then you do your work with anxiety. (Just as it says in the quote.)
And when your gift doesn’t bring you the gift that you want, then somehow you lose sight of the original gift.
That you already have.
And take it from me, nothing hurts you more than to lose your gift. To get angry with it because it never brought you what you wanted.
And the only solution is to renounce attachment to the fruits. The motive in working must be to enjoy the work, to enjoy sharing your gift, and to serve.
Thank goodness I still have my gift. It has always been there. It never went anywhere. It was I who looked away.
Kyle’s new book, “Solving the Puzzle’s of Life” is available at AMAZON