Monday, May 05, 2008

Thinking about... achievement

As the year turned, I made vision cards to serve as touchstones for my goals for this year. Recently I've been inspired to create similar cards to express my values. When I was working on them, I had the most interesting experience. A certain value kept popping its head into the process, one that is not on my top 10 value list. It kept pulling at my sleeve and tapping on my shoulder. Just like my cat it would just step on whatever I was doing and insist on being seen.

So, yes, I have to acknowledge Value #11: Achievement.

One of my values is Creating/Building and I had thought it encompassed achievement, but it doesn't. What's probably more true is I thought I could hide Achievement in there where no one would notice and judge me, but I could still have it. It's very clear out there that it's not okay to want to achieve. (Suzie wrote about this powerfully in her reaction to A New Earth). It's seen as negative, ego-driven and selfish to want to achieve, and this seems particularly so if you're female.

The first person I mentioned this secret value to is a really supportive, kind person and she said, "Well, society does program us to want to achieve."
I love that she said that for so many reasons. One it demonstrated how in my beautiful circle of independent-minded, creative-thinking people, achievement is thought of something that those other people do. You know, those conforming, materialistic, driven achievers. Those people who don't understand it's about process and the now and meaning, not money, recognition, fame and power. And also, she expressed a view that a desire for achievement is somehow inauthentic, something programmed in, something external.

So, here's the thing. I hearby fully claim my value of achievement. This isn't society or corporations or my dad or anyone else talking. This is me. I care if I do well. I care if I make a contribution, and it is recognized - by others and financially. I am committed to being top-notch at what I do. AND, I am deeply committed to process, to the way of seeing that is only possible when you let yourself be here, now. These two things are not mutually exclusive. There is room for both of these energies in your life - the yin and the yang, the God and the Goddess - if you want there to be.

What's your take on achievement?


Sacred Suzie said...

Powerful stuff Jamie! You got me thinking that the vision you want to achieve comes from Goddess energy and making it happen is the God energy. So true and interesting!

This link between spiritual and poverty deeply worries and offends me. I've been re-analyzing my obsession on letting possessions go as a way of feeling free lately. I have demonized stuff. It's one of the reasons my dreamboard being focused on getting a vehicle felt so spiritually bereft at first but it wasn't.

Achievement is something to be celebrated. We need to start tooting out own horn more.

megg said...

I think I have ALWAYS thought that somehow being not-rich was morally better than being rich. My Dad followed his dreams and we were ALWAYS broke. I need to get the old tapes that the poor will inherit the earth OUT of my head and begin to believe that if I achieve all I want I can become wealthy and then I can do amazing things in the world - we have to believe that we are fierce and capable but also that we deserve to be successful!!!!

Leah said...

great post, jaime! and i enjoyed suzie's post too. i started and stalled with "a new earth", so i can't comment on what made her throw the book across the room, but it made me laugh that she did.

personally, i don't think there's anything wrong with achievement. i know that deep down, my subconscious struggles with it (that feeling of not being worthy), but on another level i don't believe that crap. i know it's more than o.k. to achieve...i'm reminded suddenly of that quote:

"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won't feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us. It is not just in some; it is in everyone.

And, as we let our own light shine, we consciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
-Marianne Williamson

Anonymous said...

achievment is the true tangible measurement of goals. it is interesting that you have in the past shunned it as being for the only for money and regonition and somehow inauthentic. Ipersonally have always looked at achieving as my personal measuring tool to look at my goals. If I continually miss my goals, be it that they are set to high or I require more knowledge to reach them, i have the fact that i have yet to achieve them as my measure.

pink sky said...

achievement is something to pe proud of...something to shout from the rooftops. because it means you have accomplished have touched someone elses spoke and your voice was heard. don't hide that one away! said...

I'm glad that you honored that value, Jamie. And I don't see any conflict. You're meant to achieve whatever gives you meaning and happiness through the abilities you possess. No contradictions. :-)